5/10 An original story based off of Icelandic folklore, “Lamb” feels very Icelandic which doesn’t completely translate to every corner of the world but that gets points for originality and a pair of fine performances. Split into three chapters, “Lamb” starts off very slow with little to no dialogue for the first act. While a little on the boring side to begin, at least co-writer/director Valdimar Jóhannsson does a masterful job of establishing the unsettling, isolated atmosphere that this movie resides in. Following A24’s “The Witch” and now this from the same studio, A24 certainly has a knack for taking farm animals like goats, sheep, rams, etc. and making them as sinister and creepy as possible. The direction is solid on the movie, although at just under two hours long, a few shots could have been trimmed to speed up the slower pacing, especially near the beginning when scenes often feel like they only exist to pad the running time. Luckily, the second and third chapters become far more interesting and it can’t be understated how strong the two lead performances are from Noomi Rapace and Hilmir Snær Guðnason. They make the rather dull and mundane farming tasks far more exciting and ominous than they should be by how dedicated they are to taking their roles seriously in what is essentially a fantasy movie with a side of horror. The trailer is a little misleading as this movie is sold as what looks to be in the horror genre but there is a sweet, emotional element about parenting, love and nature that gives the movie its heart. While I did enjoy the climax that the slow burn builds up to, the journey there often made me question what the point of this movie was and I honestly still can’t be 100% sure. While the fantastic score from Tóti Guðnason pairs perfectly with the atmospheric cinematography and fog filled green lands, the story didn’t always captivate me in the same way that other A24 films have. Though I would love to see more from Jóhannsson, seeing as how this is his first directorial effort following a career in special effects, camera and electrical departments, I think he needs a slightly better script to truly showcase his talents. While “Lamb” earns points for originality and some fine production elements, its slow first act and slightly unsatisfying journey took away from an otherwise memorable ending. A solid rental/stream if you are in the mood for something different but not worth the trip to the big screen.

#AsMentalAsALamb / #NothingToLoseSheepOver / #TheGirlWhoPlayedWithIre / #LambPops / #TheSecretsWeSheep / #UnFlocked

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