Premiering at TIFF, The Other Lamb is a 2019 horror film by Małgorzata Szumowska, it is also her first english film. IFC Midnight released the film in early April. Despite not being particularly original, the cinematography, fearless performances, and innovative character development made it one of the most visually captivating films on the subject matter I’ve ever seen.
The film follows Selah (Raffey Cassidy) a young woman born into an all female cult led by a man known only as The Sheperd. One of the films biggest strength is the pairing of a dream-like aesthetic with an oddly relatable teen protagonist. This is a delicate, opaque, coming-of-age tale existing in a cold front that is just as cruel as it is captivating. It creates an interesting spectrum of womanhood, but, unfortunately, the cast feels a little disjointed at times, in particular the films rather expected climax.
Selah’s character arc is the only one really developed and it really reminded me of strong-willed teen heroines in YA novels, which is never really something I’ve witnessed interwoven within this subject matter. Balancing her budding desires, dedication to her beliefs, and her need to question all things makes for a really compelling trajectory. Though some of the more surreal moments sort of impose a dejected nature on her character 1/3 of the way through, overall, it’s a stand-out performance.
In terms of visuals contributing to storytelling this is easily one of the most well rendered and haunting films released this year; and while it’s not as strong in terms of performance and narrative it absolutely warrants repeat viewings and further analysis.
The Other Lamb is available on VOD April 3rd, 2020.
The Other Lamb: Fearless, Innovative, And Visually Captivating