Released 19th October
Seen 5th November
In 1997 a film was released called Jack Frost, a cult horror film about a serial killer who dies in a horrible accident and comes back to life as a Snowman to seek revenge on the officer that captured him. It’s a very low budget cheese-fest filled with elaborate kills and carrot rape… and it’s a better-made film than The Snowman.
The only thing in this film that has any actual merit is the cast. For better or worse, this film spent its budget on getting some genuinely great actors (And also Val Kilmer) who give some good performances despite the sub-par material that they’ve been given. Michael Fassbender played Harry Hole (Or as I like to call him “Harry A-Hole”) as a drunken chain-smoking detective who is trying to help raise a son that isn’t actually his while also hunting down the demented serial killer known as ‘The Snowman’. He gives a really good performance but he’s been saddled with a character that was built on cliches. Find me a shot in this film where Harry isn’t smoking. It can’t be done, it’s a weird character trait that just seems tacked on to make him look gruff. Also… seriously, Harry Hole? That’s the name we’re going with. I know that’s the name the character has in the book this movie is based on, but it’s a bad name and the first time you hear it you will giggle because it’s stupid.
The film seems to be unable to actually tell this story properly. I haven’t read the book, I don’t know if this is just how the original went but everything feels unfinished. They introduce characters who seem like they’re of great importance, only to never bring them up again. Chloe Sevigny, as an example, plays one of the victims and her victims’ twin (Her being a victim is in the trailer, this isn’t really a spoiler at this point) and that twin is brought in for 1 scene and never mentioned again. You’d think they’d lean on that, considering that the scene with Chloe is the only scene in this movie with some actual tension and a creative idea worth a damn.
It’s come to light that due to poor scheduling, about 10-15% of the film didn’t get shot during principal photography and they only noticed this when they started editing. It shows. The film is so choppy that I wouldn’t be shocked if they just put the celluloid in a slap chop, whacked it to pieces for 5 minutes and then got a blind person to glue it together. Shots end up not flowing together, information is lost that the audience needs, there’s one set of shots where they clearly only had some reaction shots to work with and just dubbed the lines over hoping no one would notice. The lack of care they had for this film is unforgivable because the worst thing is that there was potential here. I think the Harry Hole character could be interesting (Especially if he had a less stupid name), I thought the location was ideal for a good detective movie. They had all this potential and didn’t use it. Hell, they had entire scenes with snow and blood as a possible combo and do nothing interesting with it. You wanna see how beautiful corpses in the snow can look? Go rewatch The Hateful Eight and see just what you can do visually with the cinematic gift of red on white. This film needed shots like that and didn’t get them, possibly because they ran out of time on location.
So much potential wasted because of poor writing and poor planning. A basic rule that all major movie companies should follow, if you haven’t finished making your film then don’t goddamn release it.