Film review: Find out what we thought of Scandinavian noir thriller film The Snowman

The Snowman is still in cinemas. Picture: MEGAN ALDOUS

The Snowman is still in cinemas. Picture: MEGAN ALDOUS - Credit: Archant

Tomas Alfredson’s The Snowman, adapted from the Jo Nesbo novel of the same name, is the latest Scandinavian noir thriller to land in cinemas.

The film focuses on alcoholic detective Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) and partner Katrine Bratt (Rebecca Ferguson) in their hunt for a serial killer who leaves the titular sculpture in the wake of his crimes.

The first half of the film is particularly well handled. Alfredson and cinematographer Dionne Beebe utilize the snowy Norwegian landscapes to full effect, expertly capturing the cold, unsettling atmosphere of the film and introducing us to the troubled characters who inhabit it.

However, as the film builds towards its climactic final act, the multiple subplots and repeated use of flashbacks become tiresome and threaten to throw the film off kilter, occasionally undermining the horrific nature of the killings and sense of urgency the detectives feel to apprehend the killer.

Nevertheless, Alfredson and editors Thelma Schoonmaker and Claire Simpson keep everything moving along with enough striking imagery and intense, violent sequences to keep audiences on tenterhooks.


You may also want to watch:


The performances are especially strong. Fassbender is mesmerizing as the central character, perfectly embodying the embittered, hard-drinking detective.

Ferguson is equally effective as his damaged young partner.

Most Read

The pair are ably supported by J.K Simmons’ shady businessman Arve Stop and David Dencik’s quietly menacing surgeon Idar Vetlesen.

If a little muddled at times, The Snowman is a taut, gripping thriller that will have audiences on the edge of their seats.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter