Film Review: The Snowman

Directed by Tomas Alfredson and based on the novel of the same name by Jo Nesbo, The Snowman follows Detective Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) who is sent to investigate the disappearance of a woman whose scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman.


I was going to wait until I had read the book to see this film, but I was told that the film wasn’t a good adaptation so I thought I would get it out-of-the-way first.

A film like this has a potential to be a five-star film for me – a mystery thriller set in a stunning location with an exceptional cast. If it’s done right, that is, but The Snowman is lacking a certain quality to it to give the effect that a story like this should have.

If I had read the book then I would have understood this film a lot better, but it just doesn’t piece together without doing so. The structure is all over the place and there’s so much left unanswered. And when you think that you’re about to get an epic conclusion, the ending is completely rushed over.

Unlike the brilliant 2011 film Headhunters, which is also based on a Jo Nesbo book, this Norwegian thriller opts for a British/American cast, some of whom attempt a Scandi accent and some of whom just don’t bother. It’s an excellent cast, but they are so many great Norwegian actors who could have played some of the parts in this which would have given the film a bit of authenticity.

However, I visited Bergen when I went travelling around Norway so it was great to see the beautiful landscapes once again. And to see the train station which I spent hours asleep in! At least it was aesthetically pleasing, anyway.

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