Lamb ★★★½

“What the fuck is this?”

A strange, darkly compelling little film that manages to maintain a sense of grief without ever becoming too bleak. It’s fascinating how the lamb herself is never the source of fear, but the fear lays in her vulnerability. She’s so small, so defenseless, and we don’t know what she needs. The visual effects work well, but I think it was the small sighs and breaths that really made her feel like a sweet, fragile creature. The couple shower her with affection, but there’s still a sense of unease. We’re never sure what exactly they have planned and how far they’ll go to “protect” this new life. I liked the small reveals that came along as the film progressed, helping us understand these people just a bit better. There’s only a single moment of confusion, then they accept their new situation whole-heartedly. Every possible threat to that reality is ignored or removed entirely. After what this couple has experienced, they don’t dare ask the questions of how or why this came to be, because the wrong answer could take it all away from them.

I liked nearly everything that happened in Lamb, but I do wish more happened in general. The pacing is notable slow, and while that’s often done in a way that maintains tension, there are long stretches where there’s simply not much happening. The routine this family falls into was understood the first time; I didn’t need to sit in that routine for so long. The introduction of the brother was necessary from a thematic standpoint, and I enjoyed the new details about the main couple he helped unveil, but I wanted more personality from him. The film overall is a bit too stiff to he truly great, but it’s strongest aspects are genuinely quite haunting.

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