Friday, October 8, 2021

Lamb Review: A Good Film That Derails In The End

Release date: October 8, 2021
Running time: 100 minutes
Directed By: Valdimar Johannsson 
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Hilmir Snaer Gudnason, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson

 A childless couple in rural Iceland make an alarming discovery one day in their sheep barn. They soon face the consequences of defying the will of nature, in this dark and atmospheric folktale, the striking debut feature from director Valdimar Jóhannsson.

Lamb is a tough movie to judge because it does so much right.  The film has a really great sense of dread and tension right from the start.  The unease is perfectly set and it is made all the better by the farm setting and the many sheep co-stars.  I really loved the close up shots of the animals because it had this wonderful unsettling feeling.  Seeing a close up lamb's eye just gives this feeling of unease because you can't tell what the animal is thinking or what will happen next.  And Lamb also has some really good cinematography and acting.  It is a dramatic role for Noomi Rapace who rises to the occasion and provides an interesting character to follow.  And the film has a wonderful, deliberate cinematography that brings the Icelandic nature and isolation of this farm right into focus. 

But where Lamb fails is in the story department. The film has a great build up and sense of dread, but this doesn’t lead to any major events or a satisfying conclusion. I really was hoping there would be more to the story but it didn’t seem to progress throughout.  And although the ending does jump into some strange territory, it really came out of nowhere.  It introduces some new behaviors that seemingly come out of left field, only to not revisit those in the strange ending.  And the actual final scene just doesn’t have the emotional weight that I think it was supposed to, and just left me wondering what happened.

Lamb births a unique scenario with a great sense of dread, but the story doesn’t live up to the production values and the strange ending leaves ewe wondering what happened.

Pass on it.

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Lamb is in theaters and on demand on October 8, 2021.  For showtimes, click here.

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