Austin Burke’s review published on Letterboxd:
A childless couple, María and Ingvar discover a mysterious newborn on their farm in Iceland. The unexpected prospect of family life brings them much joy, before ultimately destroying them.
A24 is just that studio. We all go in expecting a certain feeling when their name is attached, especially when it is a “Horror” film. Lamb never quite reaches that scary level that I hoped for, as this is a film dealing with far deeper themes than I expected. This movie tackles love, loss, happiness, acting irrationally, grief, and so much more; let’s not forget the fact that it is all surrounding this freaking lamb child. That in itself is terrifying enough, and we even encounter a character who finally hits on the strange nature of this situation, but our focus is on this couple who embrace this new path fairly quickly. Noomi Rapace’s Maria is so set on providing this creature with a good life, but a lot of it spawns from the need she has to share this happiness. Without diving any deeper, most of the film revolves around these two raising this “child.” It is odd to look at in the beginning, but I was slowly getting less freaked out as time went on because the visuals improved with its age.
The progression is just slow, and it admittedly took me around 20 minutes to start caring. The script and lack of dialogue do not give you much to work off of in the beginning. As it culminates in the third act, you really see what Johannsson was shooting for as a director, and I found the final few moments to be riveting. Prior to this, I was mostly locked in, but the pacing hurt the end result. It wasn’t until I sat with the film for a few days until I truly started to appreciate the themes. Beyond the story, the standout is that eerie feeling you get from the technical aspects here. The color grading is outstanding, the imagery makes you feel uncomfortable, and certain shots are beautifully haunting. Again, it will lack what many Horror enthusiasts are looking for, but it also (occasionally) shake you to your core. The cinematography also has to be praised because the backdrops and set pieces are breathtaking. Overall, Lamb didn’t quite live up to my lofty expectations, but it will give viewers a lot to think about.