Hilmir Snaer Gudnason, noomi rapace

This Lamb Trailer Is Peak WTF So Obviously We’re Watching It

You had me at Noomi Rapace.

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Movie trailers follow a somewhat predictable formula, to the point where they are easily spoofed and replicated. So it’s a special treat when a trailer comes along that straight up breaks our brain. Enter Lamb, a folkloric Icelandic horror film starring Noomi Rapace (Prometheus, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).

The film, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and comes from A24, the company behind movies like Moonlight and Midsommar, follows María (Rapace) and Ingvar (Hilmir Snaer Gudnason). They have no children and live on a rural sheep farm, where they make a startling discovery one day in their sheep barn. The discovery? Some sort of sheep/human hybrid critter that the couple soon adopts as their own.

Director Valdimar Jóhannsson’s debut film creates a moody, atmospheric ambiance from the jump, fueled by an intense performance from Rapace. Equally intense? The threatening stares coming from the flock of sheep that don’t seem thrilled about a human couple raising one of their own. Sidebar, if this is Kramer vs. Kramer with sheep, I’m ALL IN.

The trailer pivots wildly between horror and comedy, including a bucolic moment in the field where Rapace makes a flower crown for her lamb baby and snuggles it as The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” plays. I’m firmly on Team Lamb here: after all, who doesn’t dream of frolicking in the fields with a lamb that wears little Nordic sweaters? Like, gorgeous natural scenery and bonding with a lamb baby? Inject that shit straight into my veins.

Lamb received similarly wild reviews out of Cannes. Variety reviewer Jessica Kiang described the film as “a slow-burn contemporary folk horror that beds a ludicrous central twist so deep in damp Icelandic austerity you can almost believe it.”

IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote “The premise of Lamb is hilarious in parts, but Jóhannsson isn’t kidding around. Even as his debut derives from recent “elevated horror” efforts, it funnels them into a concept that eventually works on its own terms; it’s both a complex metaphor as well as one helluva sight gag. If the starting point is, ‘What the fuck is this?,’ the answer is obvious: It’s Lamb.”

What exactly will this film be? A meditation on the nature of parenthood? A body horror about sheep people aka sheeple? An austere Nordic horror with shades of Midsommar? Twitter naturally has questions:

Of course, the question on everyone’s mind is the one that no one seems to be asking out loud. Did Ingvar fuck that sheep?!?

Lamb hits theaters on October 8.

(image: A24)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.