Lamb, directed by Valdimar Jóhannsson, has been dubbed A24’s new “strange horror.” Lamb, starring Naomi Repace, Hilmir Snr Gunason, and Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, is currently in theatres.
It depicts the storey of a couple who discover an odd infant on their farm in the Icelandic mountains.
The infant is a half lamb/half-human hybrid, as you may have guessed from the title or any of the trailers.
Ingvar (Gunason) and Maria (Repace) decide to take this child into their house and raise it as their own.
Repace, who plays the adoptive mother of this child, carries the picture, for the most part, offering strong and determined performance.
How is the story of the Lamb?
I feel each chapter tells the story in a distinct tone because it is divided into three chapters.
The first chapter is about birth, specifically the birth of this creature, who would later be given the name Ada. Chapter 1 has a stronger family drama feel to it.
This couple, who has never had a kid of their own, now gets the opportunity to raise a child and will unconditionally adore it no matter what.
Ada’s biological mother is still around, but her adoptive parents are protective of her and will not allow anything to harm her.
This chapter finishes on a chilling note that I believe could have been developed further, but we continue on to Chapter 2.
The second chapter is the most lighthearted of the three. Pétur (Haraldsson), Ingvar’s younger brother, appears to have a romantic history with Maria in Chapter 2.
The subject of this chapter is life. Pétur sees that they are nurturing an animal rather than a human, but Maria and Ingvar are unconcerned.
Pétur, like Maria and Ingvar, comes to adore Ada, and we get pleasant, and at times hilarious, look at their family dynamic throughout this chapter.
We’ll go into death in Chapter 3. Finally, this chapter becomes a little more dark, as the horror components begin to pile on.
After a long period of silence, the awful side of this storey finally gets its chance to shine.
The atmosphere begins to darken as the film’s ominous figure grows larger. A evil presence may be seen in the film’s opening two chapters.
It isn’t until the third chapter that we are able to deduce the existence of this presence.
I couldn’t help but be sad when the film’s conclusion arrived, and we finally saw the being who had been such a presence throughout the film.
Not because the conclusion didn’t work, but because it did, and it worked brilliantly, demonstrating the film’s potential.
There was an excellent, perhaps great movie here, and there were a handful of potentially great movies here, but Lamb seeks to combine all of his thoughts and ideas into a single film.
In Lamb, what works?
Having said that, there’s still a lot of imagination in this novel. If you watch it for anything, you should watch it because it is something that so few movies nowadays are: original.
The meanings have been around for a long time, but the methods for achieving them are novel and interesting.
The film is also visually stunning. The scenery and atmosphere of this film, which was shot entirely in the mountains of Iceland, strives to create a truly terrifying landscape.
The cinematography and score of this film combine to create something incredibly unsettling, yet aside from a few surprising moments, the film lacked true moments of fear.
The CGI and VFX used to bring Ada to life were also fantastic. It appeared to be animated at times, but I was amazed at how they brought this hybrid child to life at other times.
Lamb Movie Official Trailer
Some final thoughts about Lamb
Lamb is definitely a mishmash of flavours. The mood is present, and the concept is unique, but the film fails to elaborate on any of these elements.
It’s not horrible, and it does have some wonderful moments, but the inability to develop on them is what makes the picture fall short of what it could have been.