Snow (movie review)

Snow is an ABC original from 2004. This review is one of those cases where I remember what my mom taught me (“Wash your hands before you eat.” No, not that one. “If you two don’t pop out a grandchild for me, I’m going to freak right the funk out!” No – oh, this one: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”), but sometimes, you have to defy your mother to honor her. I can’t let her watch this movie without fair (and thorough) warning.

“What’s wrong with your FACE?!?” and by that, I mean these visuals are horrible.
From an aesthetic point of view, this movie is fairly ugly. Besides stock footage of animals, there just isn’t anything to look at besides Ashley Williams, who is nearly physically incapable of not smiling. The movie is super static (they bounce back and forth between the zoo and the house), which doesn’t usually bother me, but the movie is dull, so when there’s no story and nothing visually interesting to see, you’re sunk.

Rounding out the painful visuals is the god awful CGI. I know this is a TV movie from 2004, but holy hell does the CGI look bad. The CGI reindeer is a horrible abomination upon mankind and no one should ever have to see it! My eyes! MY EYES!

“I’m so charmingly befuddled!”

Tom Cavanagh (best known for the series Ed) was not the right person to play the lead in this movie. He’s stuttering, stammering fish out of water routine just doesn’t work. I can’t say it any better than that. Ashley Williams is as likable as ever, but there isn’t much for her to do here – she is good in the scenes with the animals and the kids, though. Patrick Fabian is just chewing the scenery as Captain I’m the Bad Guy, but Bobb’e J. Thompson (Role Models, Fred Claus) is awesome as always – this maybe the youngest I’ve ever seen him on film. That kid is a star.

Tell me a story… please.
The plot of this movie is so simple it’s frustrating. All Santa has to do is get one of his reindeer into a mirror so he can teleport him back to the north pole. For some reason, this takes him DAYS instead of just minutes. In his first attempt, he tries to bring the reindeer to the mirror instead of the mirror to the reindeer, which makes no sense – if you have a pet that won’t listen but you need to save their life, you do what works, not what makes sense. Meaning, I appreciate mirrors are heavy, but uncooperative reindeer are heavier.

Anyway, this story sucks.

The best part of the movie comes in the form of The Santa Story. In this movie’s universe, Santa’s origin is tied up in a magic spell that starts as a curse but becomes a blessing and is then handed down from generation to generation, from father to son. It’s a nice little story and is the high point of this movie – by far.

When it comes to lazy writing in a made for TV Christmas movie, you often get the adult who has forgotten the magic of Christmas. This can work if you know what you’re doing, but if you write a sweet, gentle character who cares for animals and is played by Ashley Williams, then you done funked up. And speaking of Williams’ character, she first rejects Cavanagh’s insane offer to move to the North Pole, which makes sense… and then changes her mind a mere 12 (ish) hours later. This is a good example of a basic tone problem the movie has – the movie can’t decide if it wants to go a fantasy route with Santa, flying reindeer and mirror teleporters or a realistic love story (featuring a tensionless love triangle because the third side of said triangle is NEVER romantic factor) about two people deciding to be together. If you want to go the realistic route, she can’t move to the north pole, but in the fantasy version of the movie, she does – except this movie HAS BOTH VERSIONS. It’s supposed to create tension, but it’s just stupid.

Also, why is this movie called Snow? I have no idea. If you figure it out, let me know.

if you want to see this piece of shiz, it’s currently haunting ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas and it’s probably available on DVD, but don’t waste your time. Snow is friggin horrible!

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on December 17, 2014, in christmas blog posts, movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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