What the hell. I’m not sure how to review this subtitled Icelandic film. It’s definitely a horror movie that’s for sure. This is the first movie from Iceland I’ve seen. It was a historical moment for me.
This may contain spoilers.
Lamb involves a couple that live on a farm in a cold, dreary and very quiet middle of nowhere location. Even though, it takes place in a cloudy mountainous area with lots of rainy weather, there’s something about the grey loneliness of it that reminds me of the North Pole’s portrayal in John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982). The couple, which consists of María (Noomi Rapace) and Ingvar (Hilmir Snær Guðnason), are helping their lambs give birth one night when suddenly one that’s half-human and half-lamb pops out. Yep. Without, with what seems like much thought, the couple decide to raise it as their own. To add some substance to the story, Ingvar’s brother, Pêtur (Björn Hlynur Haraldsson) gets dropped off in the area by (what seems like) a mafia organization of some sort. There’s also a brief subplot of him making sexual advances on his brother’s wife, some of which she accepts, but it doesn’t go anywhere.
The movie doesn’t have too much dialogue until the middle when he pays them an odd visit and he finds out about their little half-lamb and half-female human child. Once finding out he aptly asks, “What the fuck is this?” The audience I saw it with burst out in laughter and applause because no one in the theater knew what this was about and by the time the end credits came we still didn’t. We were glad there was at least one character in the movie that was in our shoes.
Where’d the lamb hybrid come from? I’m not sure. María cold kills the lamb that gave birth to the lamb human and then buries it. Later on, you do get to see a half-lamb and half-man carrying a rifle come and collect his child. You just read that. I’m not a doctor nor a genealogist but something tells me that in the past a human or a lamb got so desperate that they had sex with (or raped?) someone outside of their species.
It’s obviously an eerie and somewhat slow moving film with no soundtrack egging this on.
Do I recommend it? I don’t know. It is what it is because I can’t explain it.