‘Lamb’ is an Icelandic horror film that follows the story of Maria (Noomi Rapace) and Ingvar (Hilmir Snær Guðnason), a grieving couple. Driven by a personal tragedy and yearning for a child, the couple adopts an unnatural human-sheep hybrid child, Ada. Directed by Valdimar Jóhannsson, the minimalist folk horror grapples with unsettling questions pertaining to motherhood, grief, and imbalanced human-nature interactions. The harsh realism and chilling moral explorations of the award-winning film stem not only because of its fantastic premise and brilliant actors but also the setting.
Against the backdrop of the expansive, silent, and mist-covered farmlands, Maria and Ingvar’s deep-seated sorrow at being without a child emerges strongly. The farmyard scenes accurately capture and bring up pertinent questions related to the interactions between humans with farm animals, which more often than not benefit only the former. Additionally, the vast lands, tall mountains, and dreary skies prepare viewers for the humankind-versus-nature debate that the film inevitably addresses. Unsurprisingly, many must be wondering where ‘Lamb’ was filmed. Here’s everything you need to know!
Lamb Filming Locations
‘Lamb’ is set in rural Iceland and was also filmed in a rural area near Akureyri. Certainly, the film’s authenticity stems from its middle-of-nowhere setting. Let’s take a closer look at this particular filming location of the thought-provoking movie.
‘Lamb’ was filmed just outside Akureyri, Iceland. Located in northern Iceland and possessing a stunningly green landscape, Akureyri is historically rich and commonly known as the capital of North Iceland. Interestingly, despite being the second-largest city in the island country, Akureyri is sparsely populated. However, it does see tourists who come for hiking, mountaineering, and fishing.
With towering mountains, vast plains, lush greens, and the magic of the midnight sun, Akureyri certainly is a sight to behold. Thus, we are not surprised that the production team chose a location right outside this city, wishing to capture the intimidating beauty of the area. Director Jóhannsson explained that the production team meticulously searched for the perfect rural farm that allows for 360° shooting.
Interestingly, the director made a model farmhouse using clay and tried to find its real-life replica by traveling throughout the length and breadth of the country. While he could not find one exactly like his clay model, he did discover one that works beautifully as the childless couple’s abode. The sheep farm Maria and Ingvar own is actually an abandoned farmhouse located in a valley. Noomi Rapace even mentioned that the farm had not seen human inhabitants for 20 years. How ideal it is then that this deserted farmhouse is the on-screen home of a couple consumed by grief and loneliness!
Additionally, the production crew brought in real animals for filming. The authenticity of ‘Lamb’ certainly benefits from its exploration of actual farm life. Seeing the distressed animals on screen, particularly Ada’s sheep mother, makes one wonder about animal rights, ethics, and the nature-vs-nurture question. In fact, Rapace actually helped in the birthing of lambs on set for the film. When Maria finds joy in life through Ada, the flower-filled grassy fields echo her happiness. When she loses Ada, the skies and lands brandish their might as natural elements fully capable of destroying humans for their greed.
Thus, Akureyri served as the ideal location for this hauntingly sorrowful tale of motherhood, loss, and human-nature conflicts. The Icelandic film relies heavily on its country’s overwhelmingly beautiful and vast lands to reflect the emotions, thoughts, and struggles of Maria, Ingvar, and the farm animals.
Read More: Is Lamb Based on a True Story?