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Once there was a Snowman

Nowadays, there's a lot of debate about the role Rotten Tomatoes plays in how we as an audience receive a film. Many filmmakers decry the website and claim that it's ruining cinema. While I tend to be more of the opinion that a film should be good enough to stand on its own merits rather than what the consensus thinks, I can't disagree that the scores assigned to films on that website often affect the perception and even opinions of a film before the general audience has even seen it. After all, the point of Rotten Tomatoes is to inform people what type of caliber every single movie that comes out is, therefore how can they not have expectations of its quality beforehand. This brings us to The Snowman, a film that received a staggering 8% on Rotten Tomatoes. This, along with word of mouth on film twitter, set me up to believe I was about to witness one of the worst films of the year. I honestly expected this to beWicker Man levels of bad. As I watched, I kept waiting for the moment when it would cross into pure absurdity but to my disappointment, it never happened.

The Snowman opens by telling the unfortunate tragedy that befalls a young lad in his youth when he unexpectedly loses his mother. This event sets him on the path to revenge, and years later he engages in a series of killings where all the victims have something in common with his deceased mother. Two detectives hope to unravel this case (Michael Fassbender and Rebecca Ferguson,) though both with different motives and connections to it.

To be upfront, nothing in this movie warranted so low of a score as it received on Rotten Tomatoes. The biggest sins this film commits is being a little bland, forgettable and unable to decide on the proper tone for what they wanted the film to be. Most of the time it wants to be a crime thriller/drama, but every so often it clumsily tries to switch to horror and the results are somewhat jarring, if not unintentionally comedic. But even so, the film remains watchable because I think it's impossible for Michael Fassbender to turn in a bad performance. The rest of the cast gave adequate performances as well, though the inclusion of Val Kilmer was a puzzling and distracting decision. I get how the majority of critics would be disappointed by this film, but it's unfortunate that the score portrayed a movie that was atrocious, instead of one that was just averagely mediocre. RATING: 5/10

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