scoppola’s review published on Letterboxd:
So weird. Even for my standards this was a bizarre watch... yet, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it for the past couple days and my liking of it is only going upwards. An incredibly unique film to say the least.
One thing I find odd is that ‘Lamb’ is being advertised as a horror film though... I mean, there isn’t really any way to advertise this type of film, and the film had to make money somehow, so from a business perspective it makes sense (the same way Blade Runner 2049 was advertised as an action film when it absolutely was not lmao) - I guess you can call it marketing manipulation given the actual material itself is way too artsy for the average filmgoer, so instead they just threw the horror label on there to get the crowds to pour in, haha.
Given it was advertised as a horror film, I went into it expecting it to be another insane A24 artsy horror film, but was instead feeling all sorts of emotions that never included fear, haha. This film was at times heartwarming, sometimes incredibly hilarious in a very weird kind of way, and at other times it was incredibly depressing and sad. It’s so hard to even explain the tone of this film because it’s so different than anything else I’ve seen before. Certainly a unique and memorable watch though!
But yeah, to speak about the plot. It’s divided into 3 distinct chapters - the first chapter establishes the characters, and reveals their longing for a family. The second chapter takes place right after the birth of Ada (the half-lamb/half human), and shows how Ada acclimates with her new parents who took her from the barn at birth to be raised as a regular human child, whilst also introducing a plot point of Ada’s ‘birth mother’ (a sheep, lmao), wanting her daughter back. The third chapter shows Ada as a child, and how she is starting to recognize that she isn’t ‘normal’. There are several big plot points that are introduced in the second and third chapters that I won’t delve into during this review (1. to not make it too convoluted, and 2. to not spoil anything major).
The second chapter is probably the more unsettling part of the film and it has elements of psychological horror here and there, and then the final 30 minutes of the film is where things just turn unexplainably bizarre - it’s at that point where you have to honestly start thinking about potential metaphors for the film - maybe even potential allegories of sorts, because it’s so bizarre that it honestly HAS to be. I’ve thought of several theories regarding this film and it’s deeper meaning, but for spoiler purposes I’ll reserve those thoughts for now. Am more than happy to discuss in the comment section though if anyone else has seen it and has their own theories that they’d like to share!
Also, I don’t know how Valdimar was able to get those performances out of the sheep, haha. The expressions, the movements, etc - fascinating to watch all around, whenever sheep were on screen, they demanded the attention of the audience, which is so incredibly unique in and of itself.
This film had elements of Lynch’s ‘Eraserhead’, Paul King’s ‘Paddington’, and Bela Tarr’s ‘The Turin Horse’ (of whom was an executive producer for this fil’ - which is another important thing to note to yourself before watching this film). If that sounds absolutely insane to you, then go have a good time and watch this one of a kind experience please. It’s certainly worth a watch just for the experience alone.