By now you’ve probably heard what the critics are saying about The Snowman, Michael Fassbender’s new thriller — “a largely pedestrian affair” was one of the kinder remarks. Director Tomas Alfredson thinks he knows where it all went wrong.
“Our shoot time in Norway was way too short,” the Swedish filmmaker told the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (translated by The Independent). “We didn’t get the whole story with us and when we started cutting we discovered that a lot was missing. It’s like when you’re making a big jigsaw puzzle and a few pieces are missing so you don’t see the whole picture.”
Alfredson added how news came “very abruptly” that he had the funds to start shooting in London, but he estimates about 10-15 percent of the screenplay was not filmed during production.
The Snowman stars Fassbender as the lead detective to an elite crime squad tracking down a resurfacing serial killer. Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Independence Day: Resurgence), Val Kilmer (Heart), and J.K. Simmons (Justice League) also star in the film, based on the novel by Jo Nesbø.
With 94 reviews catalogued on Rotten Tomatoes, The Snowman, opening in theaters this weekend, currently sits at a dismal 12 percent “rotten.”
Variety‘s Guy Lodge writes, “Like a game of narrative Jenga, every excised element appears to have weakened the whodunnit’s overall structure, toward a climax that may well succeed in catching viewers off-guard, but in large part because of how little sense, both practically and emotionally, it makes in immediate retrospect.”
“The Snowman does not do subtext,” The Hollywood Reporter‘s Stephen Dalton remarks. “Indeed, its by-the-numbers script barely qualifies as text.”