Michael Fassbender as the elegantly named Harry Hole
Did you want The Silence of the Lambs with more snow or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo with less financial encumbrance? Then you will probably want to check out The Snowman, adapted from the bestseller by Jo Nesbø. Michael Fassbender stars as Harry Hole, your typical alcoholic super-detective. (At least I think he’s a super-detective; the movie brags very little about Hole’s past successes.) As women go missing, Harry receives a strange letter and a new sort of partner, Katrine (Rebecca Ferguson). Soon, the duo are traipsing through the snow after Chloë Sevigny (briefly) and J.K. Simmons, who is either the movie’s biggest red herring or central villain.
The Snowman hits the necessary serial-killer thriller beats, but with Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In) directing, it could be more. The movie is sometimes too mysterious and fails to establish Hole. The peeping-tom voyeur shots add something fresh where the story does not. How unrecognizable Val Kilmer initially is may be the movie’s biggest surprise.