The Snowman

'I wish I'd worn my thermals...'
Verdict: 
7/10 – Exciting and intriguing throughout, with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing what will happen next.
Release Date: 
Friday, October 13, 2017
Written by: 

Michael Fassbender is a detective hell-bent on solving a case which continues to grow more dangerous by the minute.

7

For those who love a murder mystery that keeps you guessing with constant twists and turns, The Snowman is definitely up your street.

Based on Jo Nesbø's best-selling novel, the story is the seventh in a series following Norwegian detective Harry Hole, who in this film adaptation is played by the brilliant Michael Fassbender.

What truly gives this thriller an authentic feel is that it was shot entirely in Norway, with Oslo and Bergen's beautiful scenery providing an enchanting backdrop to a gruesome tale.

The film's central mystery is triggered when a young boy and his mother are visited in their isolated home by a police officer, who the son discovers is his father when his mother loudly threatens to tell the man's family about his affair.

But when he drives off, taking the family's essential supplies with him, the mother drives herself and the boy onto open ice.

After he gets out, the ice splits and devours the car with his mother inside while he can only watch on helplessly.

Fast-forward a couple of decades and audiences meet Harry Hole asleep in a park playhouse, visibly hungover after roughing it outside in the cold.

It seems alcohol addiction has sent him on a downward spiral and he has gone from being Oslo's top officer to barely being in the office, but upon his return, he meets Katrine Bratt (Rebecca Ferguson), a new recruit who has dived straight into a missing person's case.

The case is a mother-of-one who has disappeared after returning home late from work, leaving her young daughter scared and alone as a snowman stares at the house.

And when Harry visits the home to interview the husband and neighbour with Katrine, he makes a link; before the woman's disappearance he received an anonymous letter from someone who wrote that they had been "watching mummy", and signed off the note with a drawing of a snowman.

As Harry searches deeper into the history and background of his colleague, who has an obsession with a missing person's case and the murder of a detective from Bergen called Gert Rafto (Val Kilmer), nine years earlier, he realises there's a link between the cases.

With several names cropping up in the mix, including business tycoon Arve Stop (J. K. Simmons) and an Olso doctor, tracking down and capturing the serial killer is no mean feat.

The Snowman doesn't hold back on graphic detail, so perhaps isn't the best choice for the faint-hearted, but every gruesome scene only serves as a vital point of the gritty tale.

The snowy setting enhances the gore too, making the murderer appear even more terrifying.

Fassbender does Harry justice with his ruggedly handsome appearance and laidback, witty performance skills and it's impossible not to champion him throughout the film, especially when you're introduced to his ex-girlfriend Rakel (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and her son Oleg (Michael Yates), who end up becoming part of the story's emotional core.

The same praise goes to Ferguson as the witty, free-spirited Katrine as she truly holds her own in character rather than becoming a sidekick to Harry, while Simmons adds a spot of comic relief with his small yet pivotal role.

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