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The Michael Fassbender Crime Thriller Flop Defying Odds & Killing It On Netflix

Sometimes it takes a while for a solid movie to find its fanbase. "Grease 2" spent decades being derided as a terrible sequel before finding an audience. So it is with crime dramas like "Widows"; they may not have made a ton at the box office over their budgetary costs, but the films have later been appreciated as masterpieces with strong cult followings. Call them movies that were ahead of their time, but they managed to find a way into the hearts of thousands.

And sometimes streaming platform subscribers looking for a good time stumble on a hidden gem en masse. So it is with this 2017 showcase for Michael Fassbender, which is starting to climb its way up the Netflix rankings. "The Snowman" is a crime drama that follows the attempted redemption of a detective named Harry Hole (Fassbender), who tries to solve a series of bloody murders taking place in a small, snow-bound Norwegian town. The serial killer's distinctive calling card? Snowmen. He sculpts his victims into snowpeople in a grisly fashion, though sometimes he simply kills them and leaves a snowman or a snowman-shaped insignia behind. He also sends notes featuring drawn snowmen taunting Hole and his colleagues. Hole soon finds himself in a breakneck race to unmask the killer before more innocents die.

The Snowman didn't find favor with critics or audiences

At the time of its release, critics were less than pleased with "The Snowman," claiming that its lack of originality kept it from true greatness. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has only a 6% approval score, with an equally-low 18% audience approval score to match.

Reviews released at the time heaped insults onto the movie like an avalanche of ice rolling its way down a mountainside. Typical takes on the film packed in as many ice and snow puns as they dared while dashing the movie's hopes of making its budget back. An example: "A slushy old mess," from NME's Olly Richards. 

Audience reviews on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes have blasted the movie for its slowness and poor plotting. These are shortcomings that director Tomas Alfredson told The Independent he was all too aware of at the time of the movie's release, blaming a shortened shooting schedule for the film's flaws. But "The Snowman" did live on as a meme that became briefly popular online after posters for the film were released. And it appears that Netflix viewers definitely don't agree with all of that negative naysaying. And thanks to Netflix, you can judge for yourself and stream "The Snowman" to your heart's content.