Now in theaters, the critically acclaimed film Lamb follows a childless couple in rural Iceland as they make an alarming discovery in their sheep barn one day. Already haunted by loss and grief, María (played by Noomi Rapace, who folks might remember as Lisbeth from the Swedish Girl With The Dragon Tattoo film adaptations) and Ingvar (Hilmir Snær Guðnason) soon find happiness by welcoming in the discovery: a newborn lamb-human hybrid.
Even Ingvar’s troublemaking brother Pétur (Björn Hlynur Haraldsson) gets charmed by the infant upon paying the farm a visit. But nature’s gifts demand sacrifice – how far will our heroes go in the name of love?
Director Valdimar Jóhannsson’s striking debut feature was already a viral sensation earlier this year after A24 dropped its trailer, cut to The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows.” The Icelandic horror-drama film gained even more buzz after its release, once we were able to experience that jaw-dropping third act that ends on a tragic note while being left ambiguous (perhaps on purpose).
Let’s take a closer look at the final moments and see if it leaves room for a second installment. Spoilers below!
What Happened At The End?
Even leading up to its eerie final moments, Lamb generally unfolds without its characters saying a whole lot. “From the beginning, [co-writer] Sjón and I decided to have as little dialogue as possible,” Jóhannsson recently told Variety. “We wanted to do as much as possible with images. Since we also see things from the point of view of the animals, people start reading into the film and start thinking they know what the animals are thinking, and because of that, they start to do that with the actors and read their body language, so that’s what we were going for.”
In the third act, the plot boils over when María escorts Ingvar’s brother off their farm, leaving the hybrid-lamb child “Ada” and Ingvar that much more vulnerable to some sort of mysterious entity that the film has already hinted at – in a way. We haven’t actually seen it yet. Sure enough, while María is gone, Ingvar is shot down by the entity, revealed to be a ram-human hybrid equipped with Ingvar’s own hunting rifle. It’s interesting how this sequence is shot, however – we don’t actually the adult-hybrid fire the rifle…
Either way, at last, we seem to have met the child’s biological father, who looks anything but friendly. After all, we already know it was he who killed the family’s loving dog not too long before that. In Ingvar’s final moments, he watches as Ada is taken from him by the “Ram Man” (as the filmmakers call him), AKA nature exacting revenge.
“My grandma always said, ‘Don’t provoke the elves.’ We have to be respectful to all creatures, even ones we don’t see,” said Rapace to Inverse. “I was always aware of things that are not there. And if you cross that line and take something that is not yours to have, nature will hit back. They will avenge you and come after you.”
The last shot of Lamb shows María in shock as she wanders the wilderness before turning to the camera and closing her tear-filled eyes. A surreal moment, without a doubt – was it all a dream? After all, as Jóhannsson mentioned in a post-screening Q&A at New York’s Scandinavian House, the Ram Man is in fact based on a dream of his. “It’s not a joke,” Jóhannsson said at the Q&A. “It was about huge rams eating polar bears.”
So we have to wonder: Was Ada the lamb-human hybrid real, or just a manifestation of Ada’s parental longing? “I like to keep it open, but when we were making the film, it’s totally real. [Ada] is totally real,” said Jóhannsson to Variety. “She had to be for the audience.”
Potential For A Sequel?
There’s a fan theory circulating online that María is actually pregnant by the end of the film, hence why we witnessed her love-making scene earlier on. It can be argued, of course, that the purpose of showing her embracing her husband was to convey how the couple is now in a better place. Either way, Jóhannsson calls the theory “brilliant.”
Taking the story a step further with a second Lamb installment would certainly draw an audience, whether or not María is actually pregnant. “We were talking about that, maybe there will be a Lamb 2 where we could go into that world and meet the creatures there, and there’s a society there,” said the director in his Variety interview.
It’s safe to say we’d all love to see where the Ram Man takes little Ada as they leave the farm behind. And would María track them down to exact her own revenge? Her realization and ultimate acceptance, as the film fades out, that Ada is gone (even though María didn’t even witness the Ram Man taking Ada away) shows that María is perhaps ready for a new chapter in her life – one that we’d love to see in a potential Lamb 2.
Once we hear any developments on a potential sequel, you’ll be the first to know.