Warning: This contains spoilers.
A movie like Lamb seems more like a parody of movies distributed by A24 rather than being a serious movie. Maria (Noomi Rapace) and Ingvar (Hilmir Snaer Gudnason) are a married couple living on a very isolated ranch/farmland in Iceland. They raise sheep but are hardly speaking to each other as they are grieving the loss of a child, even though what happened is never revealed.
One day, their sheepdog alerts them to one of the ewe in the manger giving birth. They help it but are shocked even though we don’t see anything more than the lamb’s head. Not speaking, they take it inside the house and Ingvar gets the baby’s crib out of the shed. They place the newlyborn lamb in the crib and just go about their regular routines. But the next morning when the lamb walks up, Maria seems happier.
Unfortunately, the lamb’s ewe mother keeps hanging around the house and calling to it outside the bedroom window. They decide to name the lamb Ada and one day they can’t find her. Later, they find her out in the pasture with no clothing next to the ewe and Ingvar wraps her in his coat at which point, we get a better look at Ada. She’s got mostly the body of a human child. While her left arm is normal, her right arm is a sheep hoof.
At the same time, Ingvar’s wayward brother, Petur (Bjorn Hlynur Heraldsson), is literally dropped off after being driven out to the middle of nowhere in the trunk of a car and his cell phone tossed out into the land. Petur makes his way to the barn where he sleeps but witnesses Maria take a rifle and shoot the ewe when it appears out the window. Maria takes the ewe away from the house and buries it in a shallow grave.
When Petur finally shows up to his brother and sister-in-law, they allow him to stay. It’s revealed that Petur and Maria have a history of an affair. However, Petur is shocked to see how happy and non-chalant Ingvar and Maria act around Ada as if she is just a regular child. Petur is obviously freaked out and even goes as far to humiliate Ada by offering her some grass to eat which angers Maria.
And he takes Ada out far from the house in an attempt to shoot her but can’t do it when he looks at her face. Eventually, Petur begins to love Ada the way Ingvar and Maria have but there’s a problem as there is an entity around the house that is unseen that looks to threaten their now happily family. Ingvar and Maria have sex for what looks like the first time in a while when Petur takes Ada out with him on the tractor. And they watch sporting events and even relive old memories by dancing to a music video.
So, what is Lamb supposed to be? I’ve heard some people say that it’s a Christ metaphor and I can see that as the lamb is used in Biblical scripture. Others have said the movie is about grieving. Ada comes in their lives and changes it. But I think it’s more about how we mess with nature. I’m a cat dad myself, and I love my furbabies but Petur seems to at first represent the type of people who feels that animals should be treated as animals. Despite that they have a cat and a dog themselves, we never hear the dog’s name. People dress their animals in clothes and they’ve gotten to taken dogs with them to stores by slapping a fake “service” label on a harness.
Like I said, I’m not sure exactly what director and co-writer Vladimir Johannsson is trying to do with this movie. But it moves at a snail’s pace with little dialogue and an ending that seems more laughable than it should be scary. It’s not really horror. It’s more like folk horror/fantasy. The issue with the entity makes no sense especially since it’s hardly used. So, like The Babadook, this is really another movie about grief and the five stages. It’s just not as well made as that movie.
While the special effects used to make Ada look believable are impressive, I just felt like they should have done more with this story rather than continue with an ending that seems like a cop out.
What do you think? Please comment.