‘Lamb’ Director Doesn’t View His Movie as a Horror Film

A filmmaker and audiences may perceive movies in a different fashion. Moviegoers often morph the initial film’s identity. Personal experiences come into play and can inform the film experience. Lamb director Valdimar Jóhannsson recently explained how he doesn’t view his project as a horror movie. However, audiences certainly have their own perspective on what genre the movie fits in.

Audiences describe ‘Lamb’ as folk horror

Jóhannsson directs a screenplay that he co-wrote with Sjón. The story follows married couple Maria (Noomi Rapace) and Ingvar (Hilmir Snær Guðnason), who live a quiet life away from society on a farm. They spend their days completing chores and taking care of their animals. A mysterious lamb-human newborn changes everything when they decide to raise the creature as their own child.

The trailer depicts Lamb in a peculiar way. It combines the movie’s strange and haunting elements into something that’s truly unique and attention-grabbing. Moviegoers describe Lamb as a horror drama, similar to other A24 movies such as Midsommar.

Director Valdimar Jóhannsson views his film differently

'Lamb' actor Noomi Rapace and director Valdimar Jóhannsson standing in front of a stop and repeat
L-R: Noomi Rapace and Valdimar Jóhannsson | Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images

Jóhannsson and Rapace talked about Lamb audience reactions with Discussing Film. The interviewer pointed out that Jóhannsson has previously stated that he doesn’t view his movie as fitting in the horror genre. Jóhannsson further explained his acceptance of others viewing his movie differently.

“It makes me happy that people are interested to see the film, and I think that everybody should so they can decide what genre they want to put it in,” Jóhannsson said, “Because, you know, we all have our different views.”

Rapace added how unique Lamb is. It doesn’t necessarily fit within a specific box. Several A24-released films can say the same. Rapace even uses one of the distributor’s previous releases as an example to prove her point.

“Also, it’s so original in a way that you haven’t seen this before,” Rapace said. “It’s kind of like when Midsommar came, it’s this weird Scandi or Nordic story with European elements but it’s done in a way that’s very universal at the same time.”

She continued: “There’s very little dialogue and I would say that you don’t even need to read the subtitles, you get drawn into the actual story. You don’t need to think a lot so it’s kind of a shortcut into people’s minds. They don’t need to reflect maybe so much on like, it’s not a lot of information to take in, but still it is.”

‘Lamb’ is now out in theaters

Lamb was released on Oct. 8 after playing the film festival circuit. However, it’s exclusively playing in theaters and has no streaming service plans quite yet. Previous A24 movies tend to head to digital purchase after a theatrical window. This will make the movie more easily accessible for those who aren’t ready to head to the theater quite yet.

Lamb is Jóhannsson’s feature film debut. He currently has no future projects announced, but he will certainly be a filmmaker to watch in the future.

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