THE SNOWMAN (2017) Reviews and overview

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‘Soon the first snow will come and then he will kill again’

The Snowman is an upcoming British psychological thriller film directed by Tomas Alfredson from a screenplay by Matthew Michael Carnahan and Hossein Amini, based on the novel of the same name by Jo Nesbø. The film stars Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Val Kilmer, Toby Jones, J. K. Simmons and Chloë Sevigny.

Detective Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) investigates the disappearance of a woman whose pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman…

Principal photography began on 18 January 2016 in Norway. The film was released by Universal Pictures on 20 October 2017.


“The worst part of The Snowman is when you’re halfway through the film and you realize no answer is going to make this tedious picture come together. No revelation about the killer, no discovery about his motives, and no climatic resolution will make up for this frigid, painfully dull movie, but you’ve still got an hour left to go.” Matt Goldberg, Collider

The Snowman is a huge disappointment. The film is painfully slow and disjointed with a nonsensical plot. The mystery at its core seems to have been strung together with masking tape. It boggles the mind that a well-regarded source novel, fantastic cast, and veteran production team ended up with such an unmitigated disaster.” Julian Roman, Movie Web

“Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but there’s no fire — delightful or otherwise — inside “The Snowman,” a suitably frosty but flaccid first attempt at Hollywoodizing the oeuvre of popular Norwegian noir merchant.” Jo Nesbø, Variety

“In a film that revels in the gruesome nature of its deaths and the impenetrable mysteries of murder, the climactic showdown is so unimaginative it should be sent to the bottom of the screenwriting class and made to repeat the year.” The Wrap

“There is just no easy way to put this: The Snowman is a complete disaster. What makes that so shocking to write that is the pedigree of talent involved…” Don Kaye, Den of Geek!

“Watching him [Michael Fassbender] wheel around one scene atop a library cart, we’re struck chiefly by the actor’s own boredom, and it’s a sticking point when your leading man appears bored an hour into a possible franchise-starter. After two hours of The Snowman, we know precisely why Harry Hole takes to drinking in bus shelters.” IndieWire

” …its by-the-numbers script barely qualifies as text. When the killer’s risible psychological motivation is finally revealed, it feels as if the screenwriters began reading Freud for Dummies, but did not even get to the end.” The Hollywood Reporter

The Snowman starts bad, gets worse, and finishes somewhere suboceanic. It may take decades for researcher to plumb its badness; perhaps only with technology yet to be invented… [it’s] proof that not everything can be fixed in post, unless we’re talking about hitting ‘delete all’.” Student Edge

The Snowman goes wrong quickly, permanently, and in a spiral, turning into a nonsensical nightmare of Scandi-noir howlers from which you sometimes feel you may never awaken… If The Snowman merely aimed to max out on swooping chopper shots of frosty Norwegian harbour fronts, and otherwise to be abominable, consider the job done.” The Telegraph

“It looks as if writers kept being drafted in to fix stuff, but found themselves tasked with cramming a square peg through a round hole. A lot of it doesn’t make sense.” The Arts Desk

” …The Snowman is not Showgirls or Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s not the latest Nicolas Cage action travesty either. It’s not a cheap knock-off made by second-rate personnel. It’s a serious thriller, made for adult filmgoers, by the best movie-makers in the business. And that’s why it’s so depressing.” The Times (UK)

“The complex plot is nasty and uninvolving and director Tomas Alfredson gets a terrible rush of sexist blood about two-thirds of the way through.” Daily Mail (UK)

“There isn’t a single thing about Oslo detective Harry Hole that is unique, new, or even vaguely interesting, except his name, which is presumably his p*rn name serving for some reason as a nom de police, and even then, it only elicits snorts of derision from the viewer.” Flick Filosopher


  • Michael Fassbender as Detective Harry Hole – Alien: Covenant; Blood Creek; Eden Lake
  • Rebecca Ferguson as Katrine Bratt – Drowning Ghost
  • Chloë Sevigny –Lizzie#Horror; American Horror Story
  • Charlotte Gainsbourg as Rakel
  • J. K. Simmons as Arve Stop
  • Val Kilmer – Twixt: The Thaw; The Island of Doctor Moreau
  • Sofia Helin
  • James D’Arcy
  • Toby Jones as Gert Rafto – Morgan; Berberian Sound Studio; The Mist; et al
  • Jamie Clayton as Edda
  • Anne Reid
  • Jakob Oftebro as Superintendent Skarre

Filming locations:

Bergen, Drammen, Notodden, Oslo and Rjukan, Norway

Wikipedia | IMDb | Official website

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