Having directed two highly acclaimed films with Let The Right One In and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the third movie from Tomas Alfredson should have been an event that all cinephiles were excited to see. A grizzly adaptation of Jo Nesbo's (Headhunters) bestselling book The Snowman and a cast led by Michael Fassbender, surely this has all the right ingredients for a high-brow serial killer thriller laced with Nordic Noir. However, savage reviews and a frosty response at the box office has forced Alfredson to explain what went wrong.
In a recent interview with the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, Alfredson revealed that Martin Scorcese's last minute decision to back out of directing and an accelerated production led to vast portions of the script remaining unfilmed.
"It happened very abruptly. Suddenly we got notice that we had the money and could start the shoot in London.. Our shoot time in Norway was way too short. 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's comments do go some way to understanding why the movie is often incoherent, but I'm utterly baffled by Val Kilmer's role as it's been cut down drastically and redubbed by a different actor. Sadly, that's not the only inconsistency, and The Snowman is no better than the sort of late night made for TV thriller you'd find on the Horror Channel.
The Snowman was going to be the first in a potential series of films to feature Detective Harry Hole (as played by Michael Fassbender), but it's unlikely we'll see a sequel to this iteration. That said, the Harry Hole book series is ripe for adaptation so I wouldn't be too surprised if another attempt were made with a new actor in the role.
The Snowman is out now in cinemas.