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Lamb(Dýrið)

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Iceland, Sweden, Poland

2021

1h 46m

Director Valdimar Jóhannsson

Starring Noomi Rapace, Hilmir Snær Guðnason, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, Ingvar E. Sigurðsson

Genre Drama, Horror, Mystery

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When an Icelandic farmer couple discovers that one of their pregnant sheep has given birth to a human-sheep hybrid, they decide to take the hybrid as their own child. However, tragedy soon befalls the family as unwelcome visitors make their way to the couple's barn.

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WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING?

Marina Dalarossa Profile picture for Marina Dalarossa

A strange and unique blend of myth and reality that defies genre. The sympathetic characters and steady pacing of the film anchor a story (and a shocking ending) that could have easily left its viewers behind for its absurdity.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

50

The Playlist by Elena Lazic

Lamb indeed is more of a slow build-up of dread than it is a real shocker, and Jóhannsson does know how to rack up the tension with long takes, long silences, and sparse set design.
75

IndieWire by Eric Kohn

Lamb takes a low-key minimalist approach to its premise that invites a certain shock-and-awe reaction before doubling back to give it purpose.
70

Variety by Jessica Kiang

No matter how pure your intentions nor how real your pain, these ancient myths all teach us, debts always come due, and the chilling denouement of Jóhannsson’s dark, deliberate debut suggests that is what Lamb is: a modern-day take on some ancient, pre-Disneyfication fairy tale or a nursery rhyme with a sinister history encoded into its Spartan melody.
70

Screen Daily by Wendy Ide

The brilliantly sustained mood and matter-of-fact absurdity of Valdimar Jóhannsson’s impressive debut is slightly let down by a pay-off which doesn’t entirely land. Still, the majority of the picture is strong enough to satisfy audiences with a taste for folk horror oddities, even if the ending isn’t quite as punchy as one might have anticipated.

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