A24’s new minimalist horror film Lamb has just arrived in US cinemas, but who is the Ram-Man and why is the ending so shocking?
Warning spoilers ahead!
New horror-movie Lamb chills audiences
Vladimar Jóhannsson’s film Lamb is a new take on the horror genre. The film’s slow-pace makes the landscape increasingly hostile and eerie, and focuses more on the animal characters than the humans.
The plot follows Maria (Noomi Rapace) and Ingvar (Hilmir Snaer Gudnason) who choose to raise a girl named Ada, who was born with the head of a lamb. However, the sheep that gave birth to Ada are constantly on the fringes of the frame, threatening to reclaim their child.
The director told Inverse that the meaning of the film is amorphic: “Even I’ve changed my mind after watching the film so often. But it can stand for nature; it can stand for so many things. I feel everybody has to take their own understanding of it.”
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Who is the Ram Man from Lamb the movie?
The “Ram-Man” is a half-ram, half-human who comes to claim his daughter back at the end of the film. This imposing character is an enormous, towering presence who suddenly appears and shoots Ingvar dead with a hunting rifle.
We watch Maria find the body of her husband, while coming to terms with the fact that her daughter has been stolen.
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Noomi Rupace has said about her character’s relationship with the Ram Man: “She knows [Ada will] only be there for as long as she needs. She somehow always knew the Ram Man [was there] and that Ada will be taken away from her.”
The Ram-Man was born out of a nightmare that director himself had about a giant ram, and could be read as an allegory for the vengeance of nature against human expansion and greed.
Reviews for the film are mixed online
The New York Times has called the film “slow-moving and inarguably nutty”, while Roger Ebert.com has awarded the pastoral thriller 2.5 stars, saying that it is a “grippingly assured directional debut”. Indie Wire argues that the film is “derivative in parts but impressive once its big twist comes together”.
However, whether you love or hate the film, some fans simply can’t get the image of the Ram-Man out of their heads.
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You can watch Lamb in cinemas in the US from 8 October.