May 30, 2023

Lamb movie review: oddly comforting

Going to the movies does not look like it used to whatsoever, but it still gives the same feeling. 

The smell of popcorn, the neon lights, the feeling of sitting in your seat and letting the excitement build. Going to the movies has always been one of my favorite things to do, and that magic has not left. 

I realized that Marcus Cinemas was still running the $5 movie nights they’d become popular for, and while at first glance the showings did not leave me mesmerized, it was the suggestion of a new film from A24, Lamb, that piqued my interest. 

I’ve grown to love A24 films. After watching their most popular films like Midsommar, Hereditary and my personal favorite, The Witch, I was excited to see Lamb in theaters even before watching a trailer. So, my roommate and I booked a 10:15 p.m. showing and took the 20-minute drive to Marcus. 

I’ll be frank, Lamb is certainly not a movie that everyone will like. You should also go into it totally blind. 

While I did enjoy it, it certainly is odd, and I definitely see some audience members get up and leave. For me, the stranger the better, so I was completely enraptured from the first scene. 

The premise is this: a farming couple in Iceland (the film is in Icelandic, so subtitles are a must) who cannot have a child stumble upon a half-human, half-lamb hybrid that they decide to raise as their own. 

There is a horror element to how the child came to be, and the film seems to focus on nature vs. nurture as an overarching theme. The first glimpse of the child-animal hybrid induced an audible gasp, and a giggle at how ridiculous it was. The last glimpse of the child-animal hybrid left tears in my eyes. 

There was something beautiful and comforting about the movie that I could not put my finger on. As I watched, I found myself lulled into the scenery, the short and almost nonexistent dialogue and the way the lead actress, Noomi Rapace, held my attention in every single scene. She was lovely and heartbroken and profound. Even writing about the film makes me want to purchase another ticket. 

The ending had everyone in the audience on the edge of their seats, and once the credits finally rolled, the group of young men behind us began sharing theories with each other. My roommate and I stayed glued to our seats, watching until the last credit passed, becauce we expected there to be more (almost like a Marvel movie). 

Having returned to the car, the first thing she said to me was “start looking up what it meant,” before turning the key and starting back home. I was flooded with theories, but none seemed to fit. 

Finally, an article about the creation of the movie gave me the most generic and fitting description there could be. It was just nature vs nurture, a film about self-discovery and waking up after feeling unalive for so long. That’s what hit me the deepest. 

Similar to most people, I had a considerably bad two years. It felt like I was barely alive, trying to find normalcy while at the same time falling deeper and deeper into a horrible mental state. That was the main character, who after having everything taken away, finally wakes up. 

This year I am trying to finally wake up, and it hit me how close to home the film about a creepy hybrid animal child could be. 

Overall, A24 gets yet another win in my books. It did something very strange and beautiful. I think a lot of people will appreciate it, even if they don’t have a eureka moment like I did. 

I sincerely hope that by reading this article you might go see it too; even if you leave midway through, just being exposed to the film could impact you later in your day. 

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