One Of The Worst Movies Of The Last Decade Is At The Top Of The Netflix Charts

Michael Fassbender's bomb The Snowman is on the charts on Netflix.

By Douglas Helm | Updated

the snowman

Sometimes movies that may have quietly been forgotten in Walmart bargain bins end up tearing up the streaming charts on some random week. That’s what is happening right now with the 2017 Michael Fassbender thriller The Snowman which pretty much everyone hated. Somehow, the serial killer film managed to climb to the #2 spot on Netflix today according to FlixPatrol.

The Snowman has a fairly straightforward premise, with a detective who investigates the mysterious disappearance of a woman whose scarf is found on a snowman, leading to a cat-and-mouse game between the detective and ‘the Snowman Killer.” The film was directed by Tomas Alfredson with a screenplay by Peter Straughan, Hossein Amini, and Søren Sveistrup adapted from the novel of the same name by Jo Nesbo. The movie also features a solid cast that includes Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Val Kilmer, and J. K. Simmons, which might explain why it’s getting some interest on Netflix right now.

Despite the decent cast and the team working behind the cameras, The Snowman was anything but a success. The film was widely panned by critics and audiences alike and currently holds a 6% on Rotten Tomatoes. With a stinker rating like that, it’s surprising that the Netflix audience is interested in the film at all.

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JK Simmons and Rebecca Ferguson in The Snowman (2017)

In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising if The Snowman is getting more eyes on it now through Netflix than it did when it was first released. The film was not only a critical failure, but it was also a commercial bomb. At the box office, it only managed to bring in $43.1 million worldwide against a budget of $35 million.

The Snowman was likely such a shoddy product because of some production issues going on behind the scenes. According to the director, the filming schedule was rushed, and roughly 15% of the screenplay ended up not being filmed. Everyone tuning in on Netflix to check out what seems like a popular movie will probably end up being pretty disappointed.

The Snowman also went through some creative changes before it became the final product people are seeing this week on Netflix. Originally, Martin Scorsese was attached before he dropped out in 2013. Two more directors also declined offers to join the film, and Alfredson was eventually tapped to take it on.

Surprisingly, The Snowman was eventually envisioned as the beginning of a series of detective films, with Michael Fassbender’s detective presumably reappearing for more entries if the movie found success. Obviously, that didn’t end up working out, and the film went pretty much forgotten. Even with its current Netflix popularity, it seems pretty unlikely that anyone will be digging this IP out of the Hollywood graveyard anytime soon.

Alfredson’s claims about the production schedule being rushed for The Snowman aren’t too surprising. Alfredson is responsible for great films like Let the Right One In and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which prove that he’s more than able to handle adaptations of solid source material. It’s also possible that the critics were a little overly harsh, so if you check it out on Netflix this week maybe you’ll enjoy it more than the reviews would suggest.

The rushed production schedule wasn’t the only issue that The Snowman faced while filming, as Val Kilmer was also dealing with throat cancer at the time. Kilmer’s tongue was enlarged due to his cancer treatments, which meant he wasn’t seen visibly speaking in most of his scenes. This led to most of his scenes being dubbed in post-production.

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Ronan Vibert and Michael Fassbender in The Snowman

So, are there better serial killer thrillers to watch than The Snowman and could you probably spend your movie night on Netflix on a better film? The short answer is yet, but it’s something you’ll have to find out for yourself. All of the bones to make a great film were there, but things just didn’t work out the way they were meant to.

However, if you decide that The Snowman just isn’t for you and you’d rather watch something else on Netflix, there are plenty of other solid options in the Top 10 for today. The new Netflix film The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die is currently sitting at #1 on the charts. Some other options include The Last Stand, Chupa, Matilda, Murder Mystery 2, The Lorax, and Inside Man.