Lamb Leaves Horror Fans Reeling

The Icelandic film greets horror movie fans with new horrors

Credit: Wikimedia commons image of the movies poster.

Credit: Wikimedia commons image of the movie’s poster.

“Lamb” is a new Icelandic horror drama film directed by Vladimar Jóhannsson that was released in October 2021. Distributed by A24, “Lamb” is one of many horror films released around Halloween. With horror films becoming more and more popular due to the use of new graphics made possible by green screens and technology, “Lamb” gives horror fans something new to fear in the form of a hybrid creature.

“Lamb” is a film that is divided between three chapters, with the first chapter having a main focus and emphasis of the main couple, Ana and Ingvar, who live and work on a sheep farm. Yes, they breed sheep for a living. The movie begins slowly, with a childless couple who live on a farm breeding their sheep continuing their daily routine until a mysterious entity slowly makes their way to their farm. Chapter one ends with many questions such as “What was that?” and “Why is there so much emphasis on the sheep?”

Similar to the film “The Witch” directed by Robert Eggers, this film shares the same slow paced movement focusing on the couple and their animal farm. But while “The Witch” is a movie that continues to flow and slowly build up to the climax of the movie, Lamb is divided into sections that help the viewer understand what they are watching without giving much of the plot away. Viewers can rest assured that their questions are answered as chapter two begins.

While Lamb is not as known and popular as “The Witch,” it breaks away from that traditional narration of a movie. While “The Witch” is a film that focuses heavily on the monster and the main characters, “Lamb” is a film that focuses on the emotions of the main characters and their connection with the movie’s hybrid creature.

“Lamb” is a horror movie filled with typical movie drama such as a couple who is dealing with the loss of their daughter, a revelation made clear in chapter two of the film. With the sudden arrival of Pétur, the main characters’ brother, tensions arise as Pétur continuously makes sexual advances towards Maria, his brother’s wife casting the viewer to see him as the villain in the movie. Chapter two reveals the real monster of the film: the couple’s new animal-human hybrid child Ada. With twists and turns thrown into the movie, not much is clear about Ada’s origins or how she came to be a half human half sheep hybrid.

Chapter three of the film is a bit more fast paced than the other two chapters as the characters struggle to maintain their relationship and the relationship to their hybrid child.

The beauty of this film, and why it differs from its counterpart “The Witch,” is because of its ability to answer some of the questions the viewer may have. The only issue with this film is the open ending and while the director has stated he wanted to leave an “open ending” up for the viewer to make up their own ending, very few movies actually manage to “get away” with it.

While it has the ability to get away with an open ending, some viewers may find themselves scratching their heads trying to find an explanation behind the meaning of the end. The ending also has the potential to tug at the heartstrings of those who watch the film leaving behind one clear message: everything we own in this life is not truly ours to own and we must learn to accept and deal with the losses left behind from the consequences of our own actions.