Leave all your Christmas cheer at home; no one is walking in the air, no moonlit sky; only death and despair. Welcome to 2017's The Snowman.
Taken from Jo Nesbø’s hugely popular book series, Michael Fassbender is Nesbø’s loose-cannon detective Harry Hole, an alcoholic liability whose actual methods of investigation involve stumbling on information much more than figuring it out.
As Harry and partner Katrine (the understated, screen-beauty Rebecca Ferguson) rifle through years of missing-persons reports, we’re introduced to a whole grotto’s-worth of carrot-noses. There are forlorn-looking snowmen and irked-looking snowmen; flashbacks featuring Val Kilmer as a detective predecessor uncovering remote mountaintop snowmen. At one point there’s even a snowman bearing the severed head of Chloe Sevigny!
Director, Tomas Alfrederson (Let the Right One In, Tinker Tailor) is no stranger to the cold, and has crafted a serviceable, workmanlike thriller, ticking off surviving plot points as though filling in some I-Spy Book of Scandinavian Crime clichés, complete with gruesome imagery, and set in the freezing cities of Oslo and Bergen, locations that always look remote, islanded and forbidding. Bring a scarf. (research Jack Whiting) It is far too thrilling to fall asleep, knitting one in row D.