by Adam Riske
Adam: Welcome to Scary Reserved Seating. I’m Scary Adam Riske.
Adam: Scary Rob DiCristino is off this week. He fell off a mechanical spider at the Scary Philadelphia Country Western Bar. To make up for his absence, I’ll review two new “scary” movies: the college-set slasher Happy Death Day and the serial killer thriller The Snowman.
They Live and Repo Man posters in his dorm room, too, so the audience knows that the filmmakers know what’s hip. That part of Happy Death Day can fuck right off. It annoys me so much when this trope happens in movies. Blech. Gripehouse.
Se7en ‘90s where serial killer mysteries were prevalent. The Snowman is like watching one of those if you dozed off consistently and woke up confused and missing plot details. The Snowman sort of makes sense but also makes no goddamn sense. I described it in my seven-word review as like serving a cake before baking it – the ingredients are all there (the photography, mood, performances) but it never comes together into anything resembling a real movie. The film is edited very oddly. For example, there are scenes that follow other scenes as non-sequiturs with seemingly no rhyme or reason why one followed the other and shots that jump way ahead (someone is giving chase from a cabin and the next shot they’re in the middle of an open field) or end way too early/start way too fast for the viewer to get their bearings. The Snowman is a fascinating mess. It’s also a movie where actors of recognition (Val Kilmer, J.K. Simmons, Chloe Sevigny, Toby Jones) show up and have almost no impact on the plot, making me wonder why they are even in the movie. The two leads, Michael Fassbender and Rebecca Ferguson, do what they can but it’s not enough. The Snowman is too stupid and incomplete to recommend as anything other than a Redbox or VOD curiosity. I will say, though, the movie is very unintentionally funny in spots. Here are some of my favorites:
• Michael Fassbender is having his home fumigated and the guy doing it is dancing to the Popcorn song until Fassbender throws him out.
• There’s a little girl who is the daughter of one of the victims that is just one of the worst child actors ever put in a movie. It’s capped in one scene where she jumps at a window in a jump scare (?), startling two other characters who are having a serious discussion in a car.
• Michael Fassbender takes his sort-of son to a concert and when they show the band playing it is so bananas that I’m convinced it’s some sort of joke. They are terrible at music.
• Chloe Sevigny playing identical twins, one of whom is in a barn cutting the heads off chickens and looking haggard.
• Val Kilmer is (I think due to his recent health problems) ADR’d and it’s so jarring and inauthentic sounding that I had trouble focusing on any of his dialogue. I know what Val Kilmer sounds like! You can’t just slide this one past me, movie!
• The talking killer scene, where the killer tells one of our protagonists to sit down and pass over the gun (and they do) even though the same protagonist could have just shot the killer (who had their back turned) and saved their family right there before hearing the motive.
• A Deus-Ex-Machina that wraps the film which is so stupid and misguided I sat there stunned the filmmakers went with it. It’s like the movie gives up in front of your eyes.
Obviously, I’m voting Mark Off for The Snowman unless you’re in the mood to watch a trainwreck. Join us next week as Rob returns and we review the latest and greatest Hollywood has to offer. Until next time, these seats are reserved.