Lamb ★★★★

Lamb. 2021. Directed by Valdimar Johannsson.

Lamb (2021) is an Icelandic folk horror film. Valdimar Johannsson’s freshman screenplay that was largely inspired and written by Sjon proves to be another A24 entry that is full of suspense, smiles, and horror. Noomi Rapace (Maria) and Hilmir Snær Guonason (Ingvar) are a couple that is getting by but not thriving on their isolated Icelandic sheep farm. Maria has lost a child and she has been clinging on to life while dealing with depression. However, one day they find a pregnant ewe in their sheep barn. This is not your average lamb baby. Ada is a human sheep hybrid. In fact, Ada is the cutest most cuddly creature and grows into a respectable hybrid. But, Johannsson has added a vibe of the macabre despite the fact that Ada is adorable. Ada has given Maria and Ingvar a breath of fresh air and has reignited Maria’s motherly instincts and love. She is very excited and both parents will do anything to keep baby Ada from harm. But terror is just around the corner. 

The unique narrative by Johannsson has fierce femininity at its core and a protective father as an orbiting character. For Johannsson’s first feature length movie, he won the Un Certain Regard - Prize of Originality and as of 2021, Lamb is the highest grossing Icelandic film in Icelandic cinema history. In our opinion, Lamb is a balanced film of logical family love versus biological terror. Eli Arenson’s cinematography captures the harsh environment that Maria and Ingvar live in and navigate. 

The beauty and horror that can accompany their surroundings and isolation is displayed and it is hard to escape the feeling of loneliness. Ada’s birth was genetically unique and Maria and Ingvar fought to protect her with their lives. The feeling that something else is lurking nearby but has been hidden is looming throughout the film. So, in the end, the appearance is one that is shocking but not unexpected. Nature triumphs over nurture.

DNA A24 Marathon.

Purchased on AppleTV. 

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