Though the first trailer for A24‘s Lamb — from director Valdimar Jóhannsson — at first seems like it’s about to tell you a story about a couple of lamb-herding farmers living quiet lives in the mountains, it quickly takes a dark turn that evokes both Sweet Tooth and Ari Aster’s Midsommar. There’s been something…strange going on with the couple’s shep, and the weirdness is all coming to term.
From the tense exchanges between Maria (Noomi Rapace) and Ingvar (Hilmir Snaer Gudnason), you can tell that something’s been amiss between the two of them — and that’s before they end up crouched on the dusty floor of a barn to help a sheep give birth to a new lamb.
The trailer doesn’t explicitly spell out what’s wrong at first as Maria and Ingvar look down at the lamb, but just from the somewhat human-like sounds it makes, it’s clear that whatever the creature is, it’s not fully a farm animal. The trailer’s brief shot of Maria kneeling in a graveyard juxtaposed with her carrying the newborn lamb-thing in a swaddling blanket makes it seem very much like she’s embracing it as a replacement, potentially for her own child. But what’s really eerie is how all of the lambs on the farm seeming gravitate towards Maria and Ingvar’s house as if they’re demanding to see the thing that was born in the barn. The only person who seems able to address the odd energy in Maria and Ingvar’s home is Pétur (Björn Hlynur Haraldsson), whose stony reaction to meeting the lamb/human hybrid child suggests that he’s going to be the one to state the obvious.
Lamb’s trailer doesn’t reveal what the creature is or how it came to be, but the few shots of a small child with a lamb head suggest that the couple should maybe turn themselves in for animal abuse and consider whether they’ve brought some sort of demon into the world. Given A24’s track record of putting out beautiful, disturbing movies (and the flower crown the lamb child wears), it feels safe to assume that when the movie hits theatres in the near future, it going to leave audiences uncomfortable and reevaluating their feelings about petting zoos.
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