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‘Lamb’ sheepishly scrambles to stick its landing

‘Lamb’ sheepishly scrambles to stick its landing

‘Lamb’ sheepishly scrambles to stick its landing
October 15
12:00 2021

We have been missing out on some extremely strange horror films this year, but there is no month better than October to deliver one to the masses. “Lamb” is the newest mind-bending horror film from A24, and I may not have been the biggest fan of this one.

A married couple finds themselves in the presence of an unorthodox newborn, which ultimately makes their relationship stronger than it has ever been. I would classify this more as a dark fairy tale than a horror film, but the movie definitely has horrifying elements. Everything was working perfectly for me until the ending, making “Lamb” the strangest film I have seen this year.

Every performance in this film does what it needs to do. Noomi Rapace is a protagonist many people can empathize with and makes this slow-burn extremely captivating. We see her character Maria and her husband Ingvar, played by Hilmir Snær Guðnason, struggle to find the missing piece of their puzzle. They both seem content with life, but you can tell there is something missing. It is implied the couple has possibly lost a child at some point, making it rewarding when they finally get the chance to be parents. The child they take in is a human and sheep hybrid, but they are unbothered by it because they are just happy to have a family. There are some roadblocks along the way, like the sheep-mother of the newborn always bothering the couple or Ingvar’s brother showing up to stay with them. No matter what is happening on screen, a confusing feeling is always in the back of your brain. You want to be happy for the couple because they are finally happy, but the circumstances are the farthest from normal, so this uncertain anxiety lingers for a huge portion of the film. The movie does not hold your hand, and I really appreciated how much was left for the audience to interpret for themselves.

Where the film loses me is the ending. It is an absolutely terrifying finish, but something was bothering me about it. The more I thought about it, the more I thought the ending just didn’t have much to say. There are themes of parenthood and acting selfishly to get what you want, but I just felt the ending didn’t really capitalize on those themes. There are payoffs, but they are payoffs with a small impact. I promise you will not be able to guess the outcome of this one because when the movie finally started to boil over, my jaw hit the ground. Without spoiling too much, the fantasy element of this film lifts any barrier imaginable. This film could have ended in literally any way possible, and it would have made sense because it is a fairy tale. Ultimately, it just fell a little flat for me. I am sure there are people out there who absolutely loved this movie, and I am glad they got more out of this film than I did.

I really did like this film, through the first two and a half acts. It really is necessary to stick the landing with movies like this, but to the movie’s credit, whether or not the ending works is completely subjective and up to the viewer. There is a lot to love about “Lamb,” and the concept alone creates such an interesting world I would love to see more of. I have truly seen nothing like “Lamb,” and I appreciate first-time director Valdimar Jóhannsson for taking such a unique approach to an even more unique film. I loved this movie more than I didn’t, and I would honestly recommend this movie to anyone willing to watch. It may be slow and it may stumble towards the end, but “Lamb” is still a very strange, yet inviting, journey to go on.

Jaden’s final rating: 3.5/5

Image source A24

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Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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