A24 Films has truly been a breath of fresh air in the past nine years since it was founded in 2012. From the studios that gave us Academy Award-winning Moonlight, indie gems such as Lady Bird, The Lighthouse, Ex-Machina, and the adrenaline-infused Uncut Gems (one of Adam Sandler’s best films in recent memory), we now get a glimpse of their newest work, Lamb.
Actress Noomi Rapace, who you might remember from Ridley Scott’s Prometheus (2012 prequel to the Alien trilogy), is the protagonist alongside Hilmir Snaer Gudnason in this Icelandic mystery/horror/suspense/fantasy film. They interpret Maria and Ingvar, a childless couple who raise sheep on a farm far out in the secluded vastness of the Icelandic fields. They live a quiet life until one night one of their sheep gives birth to an abomination of nature, a half-sheep half-human child. The happy couple raises and nurtures the baby as their own, to the apparent discontent of their creepy herd of sheep.
What can best be described as a dark fairytale story is the latest of A24 Film studio’s original, genre-breaking, and daring works. Director and Co-writer Vladimir Johansson takes us for a ride of the unexpected and breaks away from the conventional. The imagery is both adorable and disturbing at the same with the couple holding the lamb, hugging it, kissing it, holding its human-shaped hand. The wide shots of the majestic fields and mountains of Iceland are truly gorgeous yet eery as the silence of the empty-eyed sheep seem to disapprove of the child or the adopted parents. The strange selection of “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys playing in the background of the trailer only adds to the offsetting and off-putting atmosphere this film is going for.
In the past decade, Hollywood hasn’t often dared to venture outside of its safety box, instead putting out many sequels and prequels and reboots. A24 has something special with Lamb, which may be a bizarre concept, but looks to offer something unique to its viewers.