Polish filmmaker Malgorzata Szumowska, together with writer C.S. McMuller, presents a visually stunning, excellently performed, unsubtle and ideologically rich look at the cult/messiah phenomena, gendered power, narcissism and emotional imprisonment. It's a smart slow-burner with a touch too slight on some of the presented themes & threatens to be style>substance throughout, but it's a journey worth taking.
"The Other Lamb" is a revenge/female empowerment fable, a story about a Shepherd and his flock, or, in other words, a self-proclaimed narcissistic Messiah (played by Michiel Huisman) who's been devoting his life to creating a cult where he can be the only man, with multiple wives and daughters. The movie puts us in the mind of Selah (portrayed compellingly by Raffey Cassidy) as we go through her journey from being an utter devotee to the cult's 'cause' to the inevitable table-turn and revenge. Szumowska's direction and Cassidy's powerful and relatable performance grants a success at putting the viewer where it wishes to. "The Other Lamb", as compared to other movies about cults, doesn't explore the evil, abuse or psychology behind it all on a satisfactory level, meaning we don't get any real closure. However, it redeems some of the flaws with being visually captivating, the cinematography's patient, environments are scarily beautiful, coloring is eye-pleasing, and it's all presented in a somewhat rare, full 1920*1080 aspect ratio. Without a doubt, a lot in "The Other Lamb" relies on atmosphere of isolation, both physical and mental, and this shot the director does not miss. Despite the subjective substance flaws, at the end of it all "The Other Lamb" still has a strong perspective on actual issues, showed through a prism of cult politics and gender inequality.
It's no "Midsommar" or "The Wicker Man", holds back in the department of violence and shock, but, as far as horror movies go, "The Other Lamb" is a fairly great addition to the slow-burn, atmospheric, visually beautiful shelf of horror movies. Also, even though set in this century, it very much feels like a folk horror. My rating: 7/10.