Michael Fassbender plays Harry Hole a detective who is put on a serial missing persons case alongside with a female colleague. The women who keep disappearing have several common traits. All are women with children, troubled marriages, and they all disappear when it is snowing. The common trait is that all these women end up dead and the whole point of the movie is the find the perpetrator. A classic movie of the cat and mouse chase between detectives and perpetrator. Now it really had the potential of being a very decent and interesting movie, if I could only figure out who in God’s given world everyone was and what exactly was going on.
The movies started off with a young boy and mother being visited by what seems to be an uncle Jonas in Norway. Norway seems to be the place where this whole movie takes place. After physically assaulting the mother it turns out the uncle is really the boy’s father and when the mother threatens to expose the truth he leaves threatening to never return. The mother leaves with the boy in a car and when the boy gets out to look for Uncle Jonas, the mother locks the doors. The car somehow magically cracks the ice and then sinks with the mother stuck peacefully inside. You would think the little boy is the main character due to build up and character development. Wrong. You get flashed forward into sometime in the future to a man who we find out is Harry Hole.
Harry Hole is a detective who appears to be trying to win back his ex-girlfriend and her son. The first whole hour of the movie I could not figure out the family’s dynamics. One minute the Ex-girlfriend, whose name is mentioned all of once, is married or dating doctor Matisse and then the next she is on top of Harry saying she misses him and is kissing him. The son, Oleg, isn’t the son of neither Holes, or the doctor Matisse. Oh, and by the way affairs appear to be a very common trend in this film. Most of the movie you are attempting to figure out what does Harry’s family have anything to do with the case and the snowman. Is it character build up? You really don’t find out until the last 30 minutes of the movie.
Harry’s colleague turns out to be the daughter one of the snowman killer’s victims. Yes, the entire movie you don’t know her name until this moment either. But by far his colleague, Beatrice is my favorite character due to the determination she has to avenge her father and find his killer. She is smart, attractive, suave, and knows how to get the information she needs, until getting that information leads to her ultimate demise.
The entire time this case and odd family dynamic is going on the winter Olympics are being held in the town where the movie takes place. The prime suspect throughout the movie seems to be the chairman of the town’s Olympic committee. (WARNING: Spoilers) Due to the fact that there was an affair with one of the missing women. We find out that he wasn’t the perpetrator and instead it was the ex-girlfriends current husband/boyfriend. Who we find out is the little boy in the very beginning of the movie. Everything comes into full circle and it is all clear in the last 30 minutes how it ties together. Explains that the doctor seemed to be killing these women because his mother left him when she drowned and so he was taking it out on the other women? It doesn’t hold much for a motive in my opinion.
The movie really had the potential to be a very interesting movie if the characters were introduced better and if we knew most of the characters’ names. I felt like the entire time there was so many extra things going on in an attempt to give twists and turns that you really just get lost in what is actually going on. The motive for the killer in my opinion was very weak as well. It just didn’t suffice for a decent enough reason to become a serial killer and kill all these women. My last and final question is why in the world did he leave clues pertaining to a snowman? It just didn’t really make sense and they briefly tried to explain this in the beginning of the movie with the kid making a snowman. All through the movie the snowman is supposed to be creepy and add to the intensity of the movie, but in the end it just ends up being a “meh” plot point. Maybe if we had Hannibla Lecture, explaining his behavior like in The Silence of The Lambs, it would have been more interesting
The movie wasn’t a complete flop due to not being able to figure out who the killer was until the end and I did enjoy how they gave the killer some sort of back story. But is it worth the price of a movie ticket…no! Due to these factors I would grade the movie about a 5 and it’s simply a film that you should wait to rent at Redbox. It wasn’t anything special in my opinion, but it wasn’t a total complete disaster either.