Ah, 'The Snowman'. It has people talking about how incredibly terrible it is, how misleading the trailer is, and how much better the book is. But this isn't like comparing a 'Harry Potter' movie to it's book. It's more like comparing a trainwreck to a masterpiece. From what I understand, the book from writer Jo Nesbo IS actually pretty amazing. From what I also understand, director Tomas Alfredson has also been apologetic about the film itself, saying that 15 to 20 minutes of the film had to be cut. The film has therefore been left as a sort of messy throw-away that probably never should have seen the light of day.
Our protagonist, a detective named *snicker* Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender), investigates the disappearances of someone during the first snowfall of the winter. Aand there's a guy he calls "The Snowman Killer" who I guess he fears is at large again? Aand whenever the guy kills he makes snowmen out of his victims, utilizing various body parts - an idea that ALMOST could have been cool if it didn't look so damn ridiculous. Why snowmen? Well, when the killer was a kid, his father was abusive to his mother so he ran outside to build a snowman and I guess that has something to do with it. Truth be told, this was almost impossible to follow. If you managed, seriously, congratulations 'cause I was lost ALL the way through this. Yet somehow I was still able to guess who the killer was 'cause it was pretty obvious from the get-go. Just ask yourself "who has the biggest motive to piss off Harry?" and... damn, it's easy.
So, clearly I wasn't exactly on board with this either, and it's no secret I think it's a pretty terrible film overall. You may be asking "what about the other big names I saw in this? What do they do?" I'm actually still asking myself that question, and I SAW the movie. It's furthermore drenched in thriller tropes, and it's all around just boring. Any time anything actually happens, it's just so bland and uninteresting. You can pretty much just see the kills from the trailer, and that's what you've got in the movie.
I also just don't get why we're supposed to give a damn about Harry. He's apparently an alcoholic, so I guess we're supposed to feel bed for him, but you don't sympathize at all. He's really kinda just... there. I'm pretty sure the Replicants from 'Blade Runner' had more personality than the guy.
By the end of the movie, you're left wondering what the hell you've just watched. But I will say this... It COULD fall into the realm of "it's so bad it's good". There were quite a few moments throughout this when I gave a subtle laugh just because something seemed so ridiculous or over the top. Hell, the snowman design itself is kinda laughable. It's certainly not intimidating. It also just lacks direction, is stiffly acted, and the music selection they have for their eerie atmosphere is 'The Popcorn Song' and *sigh* some other classic work I can't recall the name of, BUT it's seen in a lot of cartoons.
It's not all terrible though. There are SOME redeeming qualities to this. The cinematography, for the most part, was pretty well done. Although I have to admit that there were times the editing kinda pissed me off 'cause I didn't know what was going on. But the landscape shots and a lot of other shots taking place on bridges and mountains are really quite beautiful. Other redeeming qualities include... well, I guess nothing much other than the fact that one might be able to see this as a "so bad it's good" film. Bottom line, don't bother with it unless A) it's free, and B) you go in knowing it's gonna suck. For a film that succeeded very well in what THIS was trying to do, may I recommend 'Se7en' instead.