The Snowman

The Snowman
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Soon the first snow will come, and then he will kill again.
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4.9/10 by 63 users
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Detective Harry Hole investigates the disappearance of a woman whose pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous looking snowman.

Title:The Snowman
Release Date:October 12, 2017
Genres:Crime, Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Production Co.:Universal Pictures, Working Title Films, Another Park Film
Production Countries:United Kingdom, United States of America, Norway, Sweden
Director:Tomas Alfredson, Mark Hopkins, Alex Oakley, Gayle Dickie, Jeanette McGrath, Grant Butler, Hilde Smukkestad Lavik
Casts:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Plot Keywords:detective, based on novel, gun, winter, cellar, cabin, serial killer, snow, twins, plastic surgeon, alcoholic, psychosis, oslo
Alternative Titles:
  • Snømannen - [NO]
  • Snemanden - [DK]
  • Snjegovic - [HR]
  • Hóember - [HU]
  • L'uomo di neve - [IT]
  • O Boneco de Neve - [PT]
  • Снеговик - [RU]
  • Snömannen - [SE]
  • El hombre de nieve - [MX]
  • แฮร์รี โฮล กับคดีฆาตกรมนุษย์หิมะ - [TH]
  • Le bonhomme de neige - [FR]
  • Boneco de Neve - [BR]

The Snowman Reviews

  • A disaster
    by James Von Ravenheart on 11 October 2017

    69 out of 92 people found the following review useful:

    The Snowman is a disaster. It's not only a disaster, it's an unfathomable disaster. This film had absolutely everything going for it. I've not read the source material, that the film is based on, but it's being hailed as one the best books in its genre here in Norway. The director, Tomas Alfredson, has made some great films in the past and the cast is great. Yet the film is a complete mess.

    The film actually looks unfinished. It looks like they had a version ready to go, but then some of the countless number of producers stepped in and told them to redo the whole film. Only that it wasn't enough time for them to actually make the new version comprehensible. There are scene transitions that are shockingly bad. Scenes that arrives and ends out of nowhere. Scenes that are included into the film for some reason that no one knows. Scenes that serves absolutely no pay-off, and are sort of just there for being there's sake. If one then takes a look at the trailer to the film, one can clearly see that huge parts of the dialogue and that some of the scenes from the trailer have been cut out of the film. This tells me that there are huge chunks of material left in some editing room out there, that probably would have caused the film to feel a lot more comprehensible.

    It wastes no time on character development. These type of films requires that audience manages to get inside the lead characters head. We need to be a part of the investigation. We need to feel the frustration and hopelessness of the characters. There's quite simply no emotion here. There's nothing to hold on to, and nothing to make you invested. Michael Fassbender's character features a lot of traits that ought to make him an interesting protagonist, but none of it is explored. It's actually quite baffling to see how neglected it all is. The Snowman got a wide range of characters, but none of them serve any other purpose than to serve the plot. Some of them doesn't even feel needed for that sake. Val Kilmer is one of the most useless characters I've seen in quite some time. For some reason, he was even dubbed.

    The whole film is entirely built around the plot, and leading up to the revelation of who the snowman killer is. Unfortunately, the film does a poor job of building up the suspense. It's quite frankly boring in huge parts and the revelation is predictable. Aside from the lack of character development and invested emotion (which is very much needed in order to care for a story), the film does a poor job in showcasing the investigation. Too many of the characters are doing things just because. Too much of the film is happening just because. There's very rarely given any reason for why things are happening. The overall plot is easy enough to follow, but in terms of logic it becomes a confusing mess.

    The Snowman is a mess. It's hard to understand how they managed to mess it up so badly, but they sure did. Aside from some neat visuals and a decent (if slightly forgettable) score, there's not much to enjoy here.

  • Wow, this was quite the stinker!
    by FilmsFillMyHoles on 12 October 2017

    28 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

    I just don't know where to begin...

    ...well lets start with the story, a films core. The Snowman's plot and its execution was all over the place. It's not just that it was nonsensical and just laughably stupid by the end, but the movie was filled with scenes and complete subplots that were completely inconsequential and unnecessary. Some characters and their whole storyline could easily have been cut out and it wouldn't have had any effect on the plot. Excuse me, did I write characters? There were none in this film, only famous and recognizable faces who were hired because of their name. Talking about this stellar cast full of fantastic actors, they just as easily could have been replaced by complete unknowns and it wouldn't have changed a thing. I feel bad for them, since Fassbender is in my opinion one of the best working actors today, along with Charlotte Gainsbourg, J.K. Simmons and Toby Jones who unfortunately just did not have anything to work with from the get go.

    Okay, lets talk about the execution of this mess. It starts out slow after a very odd opening and stays that way for more than half of the movie. Nothing important happens. Then we are introduced to some new "characters" and subplots, which also didn't add anything to the film. Then there's some effort to build Fassbender's "character", which had no payoff and was completely unconvincing anyway. Then by the time you get to the half-way point you're bored out of your mind and already know who done did the things that had been done, so there's no reveal or twist by the end. And that ending. It is just completely ridiculous and has a few unintentionally laugh out loud moments. So, there's that.

    I have to say that I haven't read the source material, so I don't know if it's as bad as the film (probably not), but the film is just bad. Really bad. It's extremely stale and bafflingly stupid, which caught me off guard, since there was a time where Scorsese was set to direct. I wonder if he could have made it work.

    The only good that's worth mentioning is that the setting is very pretty to look at, shot at times beautifully, which at least adds a certain atmosphere to the film and lastly there was some fun gore and unintentionally funny scenes.

    So don't go out of your way the see this one, it's a stinker.

  • Started so promisingly too
    by Josh Barton on 15 October 2017

    9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

    The snowy white landscapes of Oslo seemed like the perfect setting for chilling crime thriller The Snowman, a film based on Jo Nesbø's novel of the same name. The trailers promised so much and with a lead actor like Michael Fassbender on board, it had the potential to be one of the most intense films of the year.

    When Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) is called to investigate a string of murders where the killer leaves snowmen as a calling card, he must delve into past cases to make a connection before the killer strikes again.

    For a crime thriller to work, it must grip the audience right through to the end. The first half of The Snowman had my full attention, unsure of where the story was going to go or what would be revealed however, as the film drew on and revelations were made, it utterly lost me due to how lazy it became. They storytelling that felt so strong in the first half was totally absent in the second, none of the revelations as impactful as they should have been and the ending coming so abruptly. I hate the fact the film didn't seem to wrap up this story properly before closing with such a sequel baiting final scene.

    As with Tomas Alfredson's previous films, the pacing is pretty slow however, unlike Let the Right One In and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the consistence in quality isn't maintained throughout. Half an hour before the end I was ready for it to finish. Such a shame because this had such potential to be such a creepy thriller, instead the snowmen left as calling cards coming across as more comical than anything.

    Coming to the performances, The Snowman isn't exactly let down at all. It's just they feel a little uninspired considering some of the actors working in the film. Michael Fassbender is one of the best actors working today but even if he looks as if he's given up on the film towards the end. I'm still waiting for a Fassbender performance as good as Steve Jobs, and that was two years ago now. While I don't think anyone gave a bad performance, the likes of Rebecca Ferguson, Val Kilmer, Toby Jones and J. K. Simmons were left a little too underused for my liking.

    A film of two halves for me, starting so promisingly before fizzling out to such an unsatisfying finale, The Snowman is rather annoyingly one of the biggest disappointments of the year.

  • What is there to say, you definitely won't remember this one
    by neoduric on 14 October 2017

    7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

    Incredible novel from great Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo has turned it's pages onto screen and once again book to movie adaptation suffers from same problems that always catch movies that try to portray characters and action that happens inside book and minds of readers. Movie follows Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) and Katherine Bratt (Rebecca Ferguson) as they stumble upon mysterious killer that leaves snowman's while killing his victims. Michael Fassbender gives an interesting insight into Hole's mind and his troubles but it seems as he was given too little to work with and he did a pretty good job in that. Rebecca Ferguson (Katherine Bratt) was also a good part of movie as she tries to move and gives her best in everything but kept Harry at distance most of time. Writers of the movie script took great project but as you hear the lines and dialogues it is obviously that something isn't right. Director Tomas Alfredson (Let the right one in, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) gives his view of Snowman and it was sometimes slick but many many time choppy and just feeling that movie needs to project horror and fear was missing mostly, there are some great scenes and shoots but it seems that he just didn't know how to put it together. For the 119 min movie you will find last 20 minutes most entertaining and filled with everything that movie needed from the beginning because they are horrifying, tense and very greatly put together. There's a lot people that love Jo Nesbo and his work because it's filled with great action, incredible mystery, stunning character evaluation and much more. Harry Hole as detective in all those books deserves the better and proper portrayal because of potential that it could have in movie world given how Snowman changed and messed with Harry which wasn't seen very much in movie. In hope that movie won't get too destroyed and there could a possible sequel with his next book like Leopard that even much more to offer for filmmakers because this movie just might destroy that opportunity. 1.5/4

  • "We're trudging through the slush..."
    by bob-the-movie-man on 18 October 2017

    6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

    Unlike its animated namesake, "The Snowman" is not a good film. Frustratingly it has all the right ingredients:

    - A story by bestselling Nordic writer Jo Nesbø;

    - Gorgeously photogenic snowy scenes of Oslo and Bergen;

    - A stellar cast (Michael Fassbender ("Alien: Covenant"); Rebecca Ferguson ("Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation"); J.K. Simmons ("Whiplash"); Toby Jones ("Dad's Army"); Chloe Sevigny ("Love and Friendship"); Charlotte Gainsbourg ("Independence Day: Resurgence", very sexy as Fassbender's ex-squeeze) and even Val Kilmer ("Top Gun", whose mother – interesting fact – is actually Swedish).

    And while these elements congeal in the snow together quite well as vignettes, the whole film jerks from vignette to vignette in a most unsatisfactory way. I haven't read the book (which might be much better) but the inclusion in the (terrible!) trailers of key scenes that never made the final cut (where was the fire for example?, the fish? the man trap?) implied to me that the director (Tomas Alfredson, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy") and screen writing team – Peter Straughan (also "Tinker, Tailor"), Hossein Amini ("The Two Faces of January") and Søren Sveistrup (TV's "The Killing") – either didn't have (or didn't agree on) the direction they wanted the film to go in.

    Nesbø (and indeed most crime writers these days) litter their work with damaged cops…. you have to question whether the detective application form has a mandatory check-box with "alcoholic and borderline psycho" on it!. This film is no exception. Fassbender plays Nesbø's master sleuth Harry Hole: an alcoholic insomniac well off the rails between homicide cases. "If only Oslo had a higher murder rate" bemoans his boss (Ronan Vibert). He joins forces with newby officer Katrine Bratt (Rebecca Ferguson), who has her fair share of mental demons to fight, in investigating a series of missing person/murder cases. The duo unearth a link between the cases – all happen when the snow starts to fall and to particular types of women, with the protagonist leaving a snowman at the scene.

    The plot is highly formulaic – I guessed who the killer was within about 20 minutes. But what makes this movie stand out, for all the wrong reasons, is that it has one of the most stupid, vacuous, flaccid, inane, ridiculous … (add 50 other thesaurus entries)… endings imaginable. My mouth actually gaped in astonishment!

    There are also a surprisingly large number of loose ends you ponder after the film ends: why the "Snowman"'s fixation with Harry?; what was with the "Vetlesen cleaner" subplot? How is Star Trek transportation possible in Norway? (But wait a minute... "Telemark"... "Teleport"... coincidence???? :-) ).

    On the plus side, there is some lovely Norwegian drone cinematography – (by Australian Dion Beebe ("Edge of Tomorrow") – that immediately made me put "travel by winter train from Oslo to Bergen" on my life- map. The music by Marco Beltrami ("Logan") is also effective and suitably Hitchcockian.

    If you like your films gory, this one is definitely for you, with some pretty graphic content that (for those who like to cover their eyes) is cut to so quickly by editors Thelma Schoonmaker ("The Wolf of Wall Street") and Claire Simpson ("Far From The Madding Crowd") that your hands won't have time to leave your lap! I remember this being a feature of a previous Nesbø adaptation (the much better "Headhunters" from 2011) but here it goes into overdrive.

    Overall this was a rather disappointing effort that was heading for a 5* rating. But just because of that ending I'm knocking a whole two stars off!

    (For the graphical review, please visit or check out One Mann's Movies on Facebook. Thanks.)

  • I really wanted it to be good, but it's mostly a mess, with great visuals.
    by mitymaty99 on 12 October 2017

    10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

    Let's start off with me saying that I loved the source material when I read it a few years ago, and when I saw that it's gonna get a movie adaptation I was really hyped for it. This movie had every chance of being something amazing, the book it's based on, the director, the cast would all be amazing, but somehow they messed the whole thing up.

    They changed parts of the book without thinking how it would effect the whole story, there are scenes in the trailer that are completely missing from the movie, and they didn't put enough time into character development. The first half showed some potential, but in the end there were multiple plot lines left hanging without much explanation. Plus they totally dumbed down the killer and his motivation, and messed up the killer reveal(that was really well done in the book, at least in my opinion), and the endgame. The killer runs away with Harry's loaded gun, but Harry the super-detective doesn't think that he might come back and shoot them, so he unties Rakel and Oleg to have a little emotional time....And then he runs out to chase down the killer who could just be hiding around the house to shoot him in the back, but no. Harry just goes after him, although he has no idea which way the killer might have gone. And when he catches up he gets shot, and he starts discussing that the killer has a wrong ideology just so he would walk closer. But why did the killer have to take a few more steps at the end? He could have shot Harry from that range easily, but no, he had to go really close, so he can fall into that conveniently placed hole in the ice and die. Oh and I just absolutely loved that they teased the adaptation for The Leopard, but seeing how this movie fell on its face I highly doubt that we'll see that happen soon, or maybe ever.

    I expected more from Tomas Alfredson, although it's not entirely his fault how this turned out. But at least you can see the beautiful landscapes of Norway, right?

  • An interesting crime-thriller that is quite enjoyable despite all the hate it gets.
    by peter41 on 18 October 2017

    2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

    As I read many reviews the two things people hate this movie for is: It's a crime-thriller and not a horror story like the book was. Because I haven't read the book I can't say on what level they differ, but the movie is still very interesting and exciting. And the other thing is the ending. I agree that it comes a bit fast and leaves you kinda hanging, BUT it fits the whole frosty northern scenery well and makes the story line a full circle.

    I really enjoyed it, can't really understand why it gets so much hate.

  • Huge disappointment
    by annakierczynska on 15 October 2017

    4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

    If you're a fan of Jo Nesbo, don't waste your time on this movie. Except names and building a snowman, nothing is like in the brilliant book. All important parts are missing, one plot cut and never explained, looks totally unnecessary. And I'm very disappointed with Harry's actor, he doesn't look like Harry at all.

  • Disaster
    by leada-09175 on 16 October 2017

    5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

    Dear Mr. Nesbo, I'm really disappointed from The snowman movie. Such a waste of your talent. I don't expect that movies will be exact like a book, but this movie is really boring. Michael Fassbender it's a great actor, but he has nothing to do with Harry Hole. Actress playing Rakel, oh, I can't imagine the worst choice for this role. Katrin character was the good choice, but that was it... I love your books, I love Harry Hole books, I love The Son book, but this movie is waste of money. It had a great potential to make a great movie, but not like this :-(

  • Oh dear
    by Rickting on 13 October 2017

    6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

    What went wrong? That's what I want to know. What happened? This movie had everything going for it. It had an amazing book (I'm a massive Jo Nesbo fan; he must be furious about this movie) as the source material, a talented director and a seriously strong cast. It had all the ingredients to be an awesome Nordic-Noir thriller. How couldn't it be? Now, I'll start by saying that this is a watchable film for the most part. It's got plenty of lovely shots of Norway, one of the most beautiful countries out there in my opinion, and the requisite thrills, shocks and turns throughout most of the film. Don't get me wrong; the characters are cold and it's never scary, but at least it's interesting. All of the mostly English and American actors do fine (Well, mostly anyway) and speak with convincing Scandinavian accents, which was very helpful in getting us to accept that everyone in Norway suddenly speaks English the whole time. Then, then- then- comes, honestly, the worst finale of a film of this kind I've ever seen. No, I'm serious. The villain's reveal makes no sense, his psychology isn't explored, there's no tension, action or anything really resembling a stand-off and then one short scene later the film ends out of nowhere. Seriously, what were they thinking? The book had an awesome finale on the Oslo ski jump for crying out loud! By the looks of it, judging by all the unresolved subplots, terrible editing and complete lack of coherence, the causes of this failure must be either studio interference or 3 different people with different ideas writing the script. Seriously though, what happened? Also, this is the first time I've ever been bored by Michael Fassbender... and Harry Hole is such a great characters in the books! Poor Jo Nesbo. Still, hopefully someone else will do the books justice. Speaking of which... note to the makers of this film: It's Harry Hoo-lee not Harry Hole!


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