Elijah is an Amazon best-selling author, blogger, previous columnist for an award-winning blog, past creative editor, socialite and traveler
The movie Lamb is set in present day Iceland, in literally the middle of nowhere which adds to its creepy factor. In the beginning scene there is a dark force that enters the barn with the sheep. Although you cannot make out the figure or shape, it is made clear that it is there.
Maria and Ingvar, the sheep farmers in rural Iceland, are birthing the mother sheep when one of them gives birth to a human-lamb hybrid. Its all very ambiguous and mysterious because the baby is not shown, except for its lamb head. So for a good ten minutes I was wondering, "why aren't they showing the baby? What's wrong with it? I'm so confused." When Ada (the name of the hybrid baby) was shown the audience in the theater either gasped, laughed, or made a "wtf" noise. It was very strange...
As the film went on, I thought Ada was so cute. I have a soft spot for children and animals and there was something so cute and whimsical bout a lamb baby wearing a flower crown that their human mother made (wait, what???). Even though the film had an innocent and cute feel to it, I also had the feeling of uneasiness and impending doom. There was a feeling of total dread and I constantly felt like something very bad was going to happen the entire time.
I was deeply, DEEPLY disturbed when Maria killed Ada's birth mother execution style. It was out of jealousy and a rejection of the laws of nature. Ada's true mother was a sheep. As cute as Ada was, she's just not a child and shouldn't be treated as such and ripped away from her true mother. It just isn't natural. Yes, I have sympathy for Maria and Ingvar because they lost their child and feel like this is their chance to have a new beginning, but it just isn't ethical (kind of). See, this film really does fuck with your head a bit.
Petur's sexual advances on Maria are so rape-y and creepy that it made me uncomfortable (even more uncomfortable than I already was). The fact that he nearly killed Ada was so disturbing. When you look at it, if he really did shoot her, first of all that's a really violent murder. Also, if he killed her he would've killed an innocent lamb, and an innocent child. Both baby animals and children are some of the most pure and innocent beings on the planet. I find that bone-chilling.
Also, Maria and Ingvar named Ada after their stillborn child. We find this out when Maria visits the cross style grave of her child with the name, "Ada", on it. I find this to be one of the most disturbing elements of the film. They're trying to, in a way, replace their human daughter with this lamb-human child. Like they're compensating for it in some way. This just makes the film even more freaky.
Then, my feeling of dread and, "something terrible is going to happen", is validated at the end. The unknown force, likely from the beginning of the film, returns to the farm and kills the family dog. Although, it is not confirmed until a bit later that the dog died when the camera zooms up on it's bloody, fly covered corpse.
Ingvar takes Ada to go fix the tractor and is shot by the mysterious entity that is then revealed to be a goat-man hybrid. In that moment everything comes full circle: the goat creature impregnated the sheep in the beginning of the film and was the TRUE father of Ada. And now, he had returned to take his true child home... back into the wilderness. This scene was so tragic to me because Ada saw her father brutally murdered and was snuggled up to him not wanting to leave him. And Ingvar's last moments would be seeing his child taken away from him. After finally becoming a father, it was stolen in the most odd and traumatizing fashion.
Maria hears the gunshot and runs to find Ingvar who is on the brink of death. She has lost her husband, her child, and her only sense of family and motherhood. But hey, maybe Petur will wife her now. Just kidding.
The movie ends with her looking at the camera with tears in her eyes.
Maria- one of two protagonists. She is a sheep farmer and wife to Ingvar and together they live in rural Iceland. She gave birth to a stillborn and is grief-stricken for the first part of the film until Ada is born. After that, one can argue that she becomes an antagonist after becoming possessive, and consumed by mothering something inhuman. She kills Ada's mother in a fit of jealousy, in my opinion she was making a statement; I am Ada's only mother... However, her working against nature comes back to bite her in the end.
Ingvar- the other protagonist of the film, and ultimately a victim of his own doings: going against the natural order of life. What belongs to nature should stay with nature, and he and his wife's attempts to work against what's natural ends in his demise.
Petur- the mysterious brother of Ingvar, former singer, and a creep... His constant sexual advances on his brother's WIFE totally breaks bro-code. No.. literally, brother code. It's all uncomfortable to watch. He too has the duality of protagonist and antagonist. He nearly kills Ada out of shock because he believes she is an animal and should remain as such. In nature. He is horrified by how the hybrid came to be, but ultimately has a change of heart.
Ada- cute little Ada. There's not much to say here, really. It was a little uncomfortable and uneasy in the beginning but then it just became really cute (in a weird way). Watching her made me want to adopt a lamb and dress it up. Well, sort of. Ha.
The acting was amazing! Even though it was all in Icelandic, you really got to see a good example of dramatic acting. I still stand by my statement in saying that European actors are much better than American actors.
The title of this capsule should really be, "Music... or Lack Thereof."
There was barely any music in this film which just made me, and other viewers in the theater, very uneasy and uncomfortable. When there was music, it didn't seem fitting and I got ominous vibes from it.
All in all, if you are going to the film expecting a typical, pop-culture horror movie you'll be very disappointed. This isn't a Hollywood horror movie and it borders on fantasy. If you're like me, a fan of avant-garde, artsy, and unique films then this one is definitely for you! The location it was shot was beautiful, it was cinematic, the acting was wonderful, the directing was fantastic, and the storyline was bizarre and dark, all while remaining whimsical and melancholy... AND cute!
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This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Elijah DeVivo