Quick show of hands: If you were part of a childless couple who were really, really upset about your inability to conceive, would you consider a half-human, half-sheep creature as a viable child replacement?
We’d love to say that was a purely hypothetical question, but it’s also the subject of the upcoming supernatural horror drama Lamb, from Icelandic director Valdimar Jóhannsson, which is scheduled to premiere at Cannes. And it seems the film will be U.S. bound as well, with distribution rights acquired by art horror specialists A24 at the same time that a first trailer has been released to tease the disturbing content within.
Jóhannsson is a noted special effects engineer who has worked on such films as Rogue One, before making the jump into feature film directing. Lamb stars Noomie Rapace and Hilmir Snaer Gudnason as a childless couple of sheep farmers in Iceland who make a shocking discovery. Lonely and wishing for a child, they get rather more than they bargained for when they find a bizarre hybrid in their sheep barn. According to Bloody Disgusting:
“Lamb is the story of a childless couple, María and Ingvar, who are sheep farmers in Iceland. On Christmas Eve they find a newborn who is half human, half sheep. Longing for a child of their own they decide to keep the lamb-child and raise it as their own regardless of the consequences. This unexpected prospect of a new family brings them much joy, before ultimately destroys them.”
Said Rapace: “A script like this is rare and I directly felt that I had to do it. I’ve never done anything like this before and I can’t wait to start filming and go back to my roots in Iceland.”
The first trailer, which you can see below, certainly vibes with the A24 aesthetic, seeming to promise the type of slow-burn, psychological horror people have come to expect from the studio. We’re given only the smallest of possible hints at the appearance of the half-sheep creature, which is unsurprisingly being saved for a later reveal. Check it out below, and we’ll let you know when Lamb will be coming stateside as soon as that information arrives.