ReelBob: ‘The Snowman’ ★

By Bob Bloom

Are you having sleep issues — insomnia and the like?

If so, I have a possible remedy. Spend two-plus hours in your neighborhood theater watching “The Snowman.”

I guarantee you will be sound asleep halfway through this tedious exercise.

Never has a so-called thriller been so dull. It’s like the entire cast moves in slow motion. People seem to be walking around in a daze — especially star Michael Fassbender.

The movie is set in Norway and concerns the hunt for a serial killer who victimizes women he believes are unworthy parents — having children with multiple parents, abandoning kids or even having or contemplating abortions.

The film crawls along like a person trying to trudge through knee-high snow.

It contains so many diversions, subplots and red herrings that you become dizzy and, at times, forget or worse, lose interest in whom Fassbender’s detective Harry Hole is trying to catch.

There are flashbacks to incidents that seem to have extraneous connections with the main story. It all seems like dead air.

It doesn’t help that Fassbender’s character seems as disinterested in the proceedings as the rest of us.

He appears to be sleepwalking or — since his character is a drunk — nursing a massive hangover throughout.

Unfortunately, no one else in the cast makes an effort to stand out. Rebecca Ferguson as Katrine Bratt, Hole’s partner, is more interested in investigating an event in her past that is more personal than professional, while J.K. Simmons simply offers bromides and leers at young women.

Even Val Kilmer shows up in the backstory as an eccentric, drunk police detective who, supposedly years earlier, was looking for the same killer Hole is tracking.

“The Snowman” is gruesome and repellent with twists and turns that even a novice can foresee.

The identity of the killer becomes apparent much too soon. Even the method of his demise is foreshadowed.

Everything about “The Snowman” is off-kilter, as if those behind the camera wanted to simply rush through the filming and get it into theaters as soon as possible.

Every actor has a turkey or two in his or her career. Earlier this year, Tom Cruise had “The Mummy.” Now, “The Snowman” adds the usually reliable Fassbender to those ranks.

The good news is, if you begin snoring during the movie, most likely no one will be around you to complain.

I am a member of the Indiana Film Journalists Association. My reviews appear at ReelBob ( and Rottentomatoes ( I also review Blu-rays and DVDs. I can be reached by email at or on Twitter @ReelBobBloom. Links to my reviews can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

1 star out of 4
(R), graphic and bloody violence, language, sexual content, nudity

  • ReelBob

    Michael Fassbender cannot save this turkey. Are you planning to see “The Snowman?” Was I too harsh? Let’s talk about the film.