Noomi Rapace stars in Lamb, an eerie and isolating drama about a couple who live on a farm in the middle of the Icelandic countryside. Rapace’s character, Maria, and her husband’s life is turned upside down when one of their sheep herd gives birth to a lamb that’s half human. The couple then begin to raise the hybrid as their own child, naming it Ada.

From the premise of this film, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this could be a wacky comedy. It would be easy to see maybe Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler taking on this story as a sort of screwball late night comedy with all sorts of wacky situations where a sheep/human hybrid child would cause all sorts of hilarity to ensue. In Lamb, however, this is very much not the case. The general tone of the film is quite dark, and while the initial reveal of Ada, the aforementioned Hybrid, will most likely at least give you a little chuckle, the sweet freak of nature will eventually endear herself to you and you’ll feel just the same way as Maria does.

A24

Film fans will mostly likely be aware of A24’s involvement in the production of Lamb. If you’re a fan of this company then you’ll probably be very happy with Lamb. It’s got a very similar feel to a lot of their previous projects. It also has similar issues. Lamb is being marketed as a sort of dark horror film, but really it’s more of an outlandish character driven slice of life family drama. There’s a lot of scenes dedicated simply to the family sitting and spending time with each other. This is all very nice but doesn’t really add much to the overall narrative. What’s more is that the end of the film is when the story starts to get more interesting. It feels as though that they could have cut out quite a bit of the middle and spent more time with the characters after the “end”. A24’s signature style is present, but they do have a tendency to focus more on atmosphere and character over plot. This usually works out for them, but in Lamb it feels like there was a lot more to explore.

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The atmosphere though is very well crafted. It’s supremely directed by Valdimar Johannsson, which is made all the more impressive when you realise this is only his second feature to date. The Icelandic countryside is hauntingly beautiful and lonely at the same time. There’s not much in the way of a soundtrack which adds to the very rustic feel of this film’s story and setting.

A24

Lamb is very much an A24 film; it’s a wonderfully crafted surreal inspection of themes like parenthood and family and will surely please all the indie film fans out there with a love of the likes of The Green Knight and Midsommar. However, some viewers may be left a little disappointed when the credits start to roll as there’s a lot more to this story that could have been shown.

Lamb releases in UK cinemas on December 10.

By Freddie Deighton

Freddie is a News Editor, Critic and the Resident Batman Expert at FilmHounds. He has a degree in Digital Film Production from Ravensbourne University London and he graduated from The BRIT School. He has a YouTube channel called Deight Night Reviews where he posts most of his reviews. Go subscribe to him over there! To find out ALL of Freddie's film opinions go to his Letterboxd - TheDeightonator

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