FILM REVIEW: THE SNOWMAN (15)

The abominable film adaptation…

Alarm bells were ringing before walking into my screening of The Snowman, a Big Screen adaptation of Jo Nesbo’s best-selling detective thriller.

Firstly, the author himself had publicly distanced himself from the movie, saying that it simply wasn’t what he had written.

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The studio also put an embargo on this particular film, meaning critics could not share their thoughts on The Snowman until its release date. This is usually done when there are fears that reviews will put people off buying a ticket.

Of course, there was the possibility that Jo Nesbo had high expectations that couldn’t be reached and that the embargo was purely to avoid spoilers being leaked (The Snowman is a murder mystery after all). So, I went into my screening with an open mind.

The film follows an elite crime squad’s lead detective, Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender), who – on the first snow of winter – begins investigating the disappearance of a woman whose scarf is found wrapped around a sinister-looking snowman near her home. He’s joined by Katrine Bratt (Rebecca Ferguson), who links the case with a decade’s worth of murders occurring after each snowfall. All the while, the elusive killer continues his homicides, leaving cryptic clues and creepy snowmen behind him.

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The director, Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) seemed the perfect choice for this project – having seen his ability to create edge-of-your-seat suspense in his previous movies. What he’s given us here is something clichéd, dated and dull.

It is perhaps the script that mostly lets the film down. There’s a lack of narrative direction and an overload of terrible dialogue. You could argue that the director and actors simply weren’t given the tools needed to create something great.

This time around, it’s clear to see why the embargo was put in place, alongside the criticism of the author. Which is a shame, as this should have been one of the best films of the year (given the talent involved in front of and behind the camera). Sadly, it has been one of the biggest disappointments.

Mikey Clarke [youtube id=”BF2Ksrxu_QY” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Genre: Mystery & Suspense

Running Time: 1hr 59mins

Directed by: Tomas Alfredson

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Val Kilmer, Chloë Sevigny, J.K. Simmons, Silvia Busuioc & Jamie Clayton

See The Snowman and much more at Showcase Cinema, Peterborough. Visit www.showcasecinemas.co.uk for the latest up-to-date show times. You can also join the chat on Twitter @showcasecinemas or on Facebook by searching for ‘Showcase Cinemas UK’

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