Writing out the summary of Snowman's Land makes it sound sort of like In Bruges, and for a twenty or so minutes, the film has a nice understated absurdity to it. After realizing he's shot the wrong guy, Walter gets the right target in his sights, but holds up the picture next to the guy's face, just to make sure. His meditating boss tells him about a sort of lightbulb therapy and how to pretend you're on a distant, warm beach while staring into them for a few hours every day. The chilly mountains make for a nice backdrop for something goofy but violent to happen.
Sadly, when something violent finally does happen, director/writer Tomasz Thomson doesn't seem to know how to escalate. The film sets up a tricky situation for Walter and Micky, but it struggles to wring an exciting or funny scene from it. The film plods along at a glacial pace as the two men lounge in Berger's hotel-like mansion, watching fuzzy TV and sneaking into the areas Sibylle tells them are off-limits. True to the role, Micky is indeed fairly obnoxious, and probably not as funny as Thomson or Wodianka think he is, and the viewer will probably relate to Walter in the worst way in under twenty minutes.
Of all the characters, Sibylle is the most interesting, but the role is pretty minor; the character hops in her car and drives away for a good 15 minutes of the movie, and she's only given so much to do when she comes back. It seems, for a minute, that the film is going to perk up with her presence, but it doesn't last. Instead, the movie moves onto Berger, who is not a particularly interesting character; he's sadistic and highly suspicious of his two new hires, but he's also pretty bland. Another actor might've been able to infuse some comic energy into the role, but Schöne only perks up for a few seconds at a time.
As the movie twists and turns through the story, it becomes clear that Thomson doesn't really know where he's going. Power shifts from Berger to others, back to Berger. Walter and Micky are okay one minute, and not okay the next. Walter tries to leave, but the film artificially stops him. At the center of all of the chaos is Walter, who doesn't seem to know why he's been stuck in this hell, nor how to change and escape from it. Like every other plot development, the film's finale feels arbitrary, with all the affectation of having conveyed something satisfying and meaningful, but none of the substance.
The Video and Audio
Sound-wise, Snowman's Land is a sparse experience. The film's atmosphere is all about the eerie emptiness of an empty mountain far from civilization, so there aren't a lot of opportunities for this German Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track to show off. The unique squeaky pop-crunch of someone walking through snow, the distant call of birds and twigs snapping, echoing voices in a spacious, empty house, the distant sound of a thumping boombox, and the occasional gunshot are all rendered nicely, with the occasional hint of directionality. English subtitle translation seems fine. A German Dolby Digital 2.0 track is also included.