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The Snowman

Directed by Tomas Alfredson

UK, 2017

HOME, 18 October 2017
The Snowman

This Nordic noir does a decent enough job of bringing home the bacon.

Michael Fassbender is a little lackluster as Harry, a detective who has problems with daemons and drink; mind, maybe that is what the role requires. He needs a case – a dark, ugly case – to focus his energies. And he stumbles into one involving a serial killer who does away with women who reject him, because he believes he was rejected by his mother.

All the ingredients are here: thrills, intrigue, horror, atmospherics (ice and snow creating a malign luminescence), but in parts it somehow lacks urgency.

One problem with films like this, a reason why they can never be wholly satisfactory, is that the killer must remain unknown right up until the end, else there is no mystery. Yet who is the killer? If someone wholly unknown or a minor character even, you feel cheated. If someone known, say connected to the detective, then the story-line inevitably seems contrived.