Last night, Syfy premiered its holiday disaster flick ‘Snowmageddon.’ Set in the small Alaskan town of Normal, the town is plagued with multiple disasters after a mysterious snow globe appears on a family’s doorstep.
It’s Christmas in Normal, Alaska. The town is decorated, and John Miller collects presents that his wife needs to deliver (she is a helicopter pilot). The only odd thing seems to be a lack of snow, but the town is prepared to enjoy the holiday, not multiple disasters. The Miller family receives a snow globe on their doorstep; the origins of the snow globe are unknown. Rudy, the youngest, is given the globe; the boy is into fantasy, so he seems to be the natural recipient of the odd gift. What the family doesn’t know is that after the snow globe is activated, the town has to suffer through an earthquake, an avalanche, fires and other disasters. The family, with the help of some of the townspeople, has to figure out how to destroy the globe before the town is completely demolished.
‘Snowmageddon’ had many things going for it: a mystical snow globe, the promise of a lot of devastation and destruction, and Michael Hogan (Colonel Saul Tigh from ‘Battlestar Galactica’). However, I was a little disappointed by the lack of importance of the snow globe in the plot. The source of all the destruction was not as prominent in the story as I expected it to be. I was not anticipating a full explanation of the origins of the snow globe, but some revelations were needed. Where did the snow globe come from? Why the Miller family? Why Normal, Alaska? How did the snow globe cause all of the destruction? What is the connection between the snow globe and the town’s clock? None of these questions are answered by the end of the movie. Keeping some mysteries about the snow globe would have been fine, but leaving every question unanswered is not.
What is featured more than the snow globe is Rudy’s fantasy game. Rudy plays the game many times during the first part of the movie, the snowboarder Derrick is familiar with the game, and Rudy figures out how to destroy the snow globe because of his experiences playing the game. The frequency of recurrences of Rudy’s game made me think the game was more important than the snow globe.
The performances are solid. The dad is quiet and doesn’t really have a hero’s arc, so having him save the day at the end is contrived. The son, Rudy, has more of an arc. Dylan Matzke, the actor who played Rudy, makes the boy’s guilt understandable. Rudy feels responsible for the town’s plight because he played with the snow globe, and Matzke’s performance throughout the movie shows Rudy’s progression and growth. Hogan is perfect as Fred, the owner of the antique shop. Only Hogan could make Fred sitting in front of his shop and refusing to leave town memorable. Another standout performance is Jeffry Ballard as Derrick. Ballard does not have a lot of screen time, but he works each moment. I grew to care about Derrick, and I was surprised and saddened by his fate.
The special effects are impressive. The explosions are big, dangerous, and numerous. The destruction from the earthquake and other disasters looks believably devastating. My favorite effect was the spikes from the ground. Combined with the editing, the sudden random appearances of the spikes made me tense; I did not know when or where the spikes would shoot from the ground, making me truly surprised when one of the most interesting death scenes happened.
‘Snowmageddon’ is a decent entry into Syfy’s building lineup of fun original movies that remind me of some of my favorite B-movie classics. Is ‘Snowmageddon’ one of their best? No, but it’s not their worst either. Maybe next year Syfy will bring us ‘Snowmageddon 2: The Revenge of the Globe.’ If not, I still would like Syfy to bring us more holiday-themed original movies.
‘Snowmageddon’ airs again on December 17 at 7pm (Eastern), so grab a cup of cocoa and enjoy!