A24’s Lamb is very much a slow burn of a movie, and while it isn’t for everyone that third act is a bizarre and twisted masterpiece.
Whenever I sit down to watch an A24 movie I know that I am getting myself into something strange and unexpected — which is almost always a very good thing. Their latest movie, Lamb, took me completely by surprise. After watching I needed to take a few hours to process the film as a whole and while I still feel like I don’t know one hundred percent of what I watched, I do know that i really, really loved it.
Lamb tells a story surrounding a couple who own a sheep farm and one day discover an unnatural newborn in the barn. They are childless themselves, and decide to bring the lamb into the house to raise it away from the normal ones. Things get quite crazy when the sinister forces that created this lamb try to beckon it back to where it came from.
The best thing about Lamb is that 90% of the time viewers have no clue as to what is happening. With each and every reveal, more twists and turns are thrown right us. So much of the time watching is spent trying to figure out what is going on, and what is going to happen next. There are moments that will have you scratching your head and others that will have you picking your jaw up off the floor.
The suspense of it all really comes through thanks to the score, the color hue that falls over the whole film, and the direction and pacing. While it is a slow burn that is absolutely the point of this movie. Everything will be revealed in time so you might as well just sit back and take it all in as you gone on this weird, bizarre, and twisted ride.
Lamb is split into three chapters and each one is better than the last. The first does a great job of setting the scene and the story, the second introduces more and more questions, and the third is off the wall craziness that no one will see coming.
This movie is all about the efforts this couple is willing to put in to be happy. They are committed to the themselves and this life with Ada, their lamb. Nothing is going to take this away from them. Lamb feels like it is shining a light on parents who become obsessed with their children, which makes it more creepy because it all too real a situation. Being a parent myself I have always wondered about nature versus nurture, and Lamb tackles that in a very intriguing and captivating way.
The thing that you have to know going into Lamb is that it is a very slow burn. The first chapter will feel much longer than it is, but once it gets going, you will be hooked. The story is strange and because of that it can take a while to get into, and it could turn some people off.
I cannot stress this enough — this is not a movie for everyone. A24 is sometimes an acquired taste and Lamb, while a fantastic film, is a hard one to swallow. This is a foreign, subtitled, film as well, so keep that in mind. However, there is not a whole lot of dialogue here. The actions of the characters and the visuals tell the story, which is part of the reason it works so well. All of the actors are great, but Noomi Rapace really steals every scene that she is in.
Overall Thoughts On Lamb
I went into Lamb thinking it was going to be a strange horror film, but that is not what it is at all. It has a deeper meaning and is more of a thriller, if anything. There is a lot to take in here and if you allow yourself to jump all in, you will be very pleasantly surprised. The ending will leave just about everyone shook, and needing time to process the film as a whole.
Lamb is not for everyone. But those who allow themselves to be taken by it, will find themselves thinking about it for days.
In rural Iceland, a childless couple discover a strange and unnatural newborn in their sheep barn. They decide to raise her as their own, but sinister forces are determined to return the creature to the wilderness that birthed her.
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Hollywood Critics Association and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.