Snowman's Land

Snowman's Land

On DVD: 
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Running Time: 
95 minutes

Snowman's Land is a dark, lethargic mess but also entertaining at times.

Walter is a hitman, and as the story begins he makes a mistake and kills the wrong guy. He kills the right guy too. See, the guy he's following steps into a bathroom, and Walter follows him in after a couple seconds and shoot the man standing at the urinal who isn't the right guy. Then he shoots the guy in the stall after confirming it's the right man. The wrong man turns out to be a pop singer and so Walter has to fly under the radar for a while.

Finally a job comes up that is perfect for him. He is to go to the boss' house and guard it. Like house sitting, far off in the Carpathian mountains - beautiful yet remote. On the way to Berger's, he meets Mickey, a young thug in contract to Walter's tired experience, the two of them assigned to the same job. Once at the house they learn that Berger isn't there, but Berger's wife is. The two men get bored, explore the house, find the drug lab, play around outside, and generally try to find things to occupy themselves since the house doesn't appear to need any guarding.

Berger's wife Sybille, it turns out, is a bit of a party girl. She vanishes for a few days and returns with tales of the fantastic orgy she'd been at. Mickey slips a pill in her drink, takes one himself, and the two of them start to get it on. As they grind on each other and undress, she grabs ahold of Mickey's gun and then accidentally shoots herself in the head.

Black comedy ensues.

Jürgen Rißmann plays the role of Walter, who is as dour an individual as I've ever seen. I don't think he smiles once in the whole film. He also doesn't show much in the way of other emotions either. He's flat. Thomas Wodianka as Mickey is more expressive, but often more in an excited puppy sort of way. Neither of the characters are endearing, in fact no one in the film is. There is just no one to root for, and yet it is interesting to watch this group of terrible people unravel through a series of double-crosses.

Where the occasionally story lacks, however, it makes up for it by being so well put together. Tomasz Thomson has directed a beautifully constructed film. Snowman's Land isn't a great film by any measure, but it perhaps merits a watch anyway.

Review by Jason Pace
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