What is it?
The first full trailer for an arthouse horror that had critics at last month’s Cannes Film Festival bleating all about it. Logline: “A childless couple, María and Ingvar, discover a mysterious newborn on their farm in Iceland. The unexpected prospect of family life brings them much joy, before ultimately destroying them.”
Let’s not dwell on the “ultimately destroying them” bit for now. Where’s the joy?
María (Noomi Rapace), seemingly grieving a lost child, finds her motherhood mojo when one of the ewes on the farm gives birth to a lamb that… let’s just say it isn’t wholly woolly. She takes it into the farmhouse to raise as a baby. Awww, cute! When Ingvar’s aghast brother asks, “What is this?”, Ingvar replies: “Happiness.”
Is it though?
Not for long! For one thing, first-time director Valdimar Jóhannsson has a special effects background, so you know that the look of this baby lamb (teased in the trailer) is gonna be a popcorn-dropper. Equally, the sheep – especially the forlorn ewe – clearly do give a flock about this animal-rustling. Things are about to go from baaaaad to worse. Sorry.
Bet it’s an A24 release.
Yup! Even the farm’s sheep know this, forming themselves into the shape of the company’s logo in the trailer (sheepdog not pictured). You wouldn’t get that with cows.
What’s the music like?
No one sings Baa Baa Black Sheep, but The Beach Boys’ God Only Knows does figure. “Why?” you ask. Well, it’s taken from Pet Sounds, the cover of which features the band lovingly feeding… goats. So, some logic there. But if the film had starred goats instead of sheep, it would have been called Kid… Actually, that would have been better, right?
How should we describe this phantasmagorical folk-horror?
The Violence of the Lambs.
Not to be confused with…
Babe. Definitely don’t confuse it with Babe – and really definitely don’t take your little brother/sister/nephew/niece/cousin to see this, thinking it’s got cute talking animals. They’ll be scarred for life. On the upside, though, they’ll also be vegetarian.
When’s it out?
8th October 2021.