The premise of the film is this: in rural Iceland, a childless couple discovers an unnatural newborn in their sheep barn. They then decide to raise her as her own, but sinister forces are determined to return the creature to the wilderness that birthed her. Sounds like a pretty straightforward premise, right? The mention of the strange newborn certainly creates an element of mystery, but the overall narrative seems like anything A24 would normally distribute. That’s what I thought… until I saw the trailer.
Now the trailer does sell the film for me - it’s an excellent preview. Married couple Maria and Ingvar seem to be portrayed with a hauntingly beautiful sense of grief by Noomi Rapace and Hilmir Snaer Gudnason, being shown to accept their new addition with a strong nerve and then eventually a familial love. Tension seems to be created by the arrival of a man into the family home (a relative of Maria and Ingvar seems the most obvious answer to his identity) and from a strange, possibly supernatural force in the background.
Already it is clear from the trailer that the film is beautifully shot. The landscape is barren, wild and alluring - the Nordic light and landscape provide a stunning backdrop. The feature seems to be untamed in every sense of the word, with the narrative and the setting creating an increasingly uneasy feeling. The silence intercut with the occasional lamb noises that are utilised in the trailer is also intriguing, adding to the twisted feel of the film.
My first impression isn’t that the film is wholly horror - the premise is too bizarre and surreal to successfully achieve the genre in my opinion. However, the trailer is unnerving and definitely has the capacity to make audiences shy away in their seats. If the quality is anything like that of Midsommar and Hereditary, also products of A24, then I for one will be very excited to see it in cinemas when it is released.
Lamb will be screened in cinemas from the 10th December 2021.