The success of “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey” in 2022 was always bound to inspire a wave of imitators, and slowly but surely, it’s starting to happen. This film has ignited the imaginations of many creators, prompting them to explore how they can transform innocent and child-friendly subjects into horror movies. We’ve seen it happen with fairytales, legends, and now, even nursery rhymes.
One particular snippet of a nursery rhyme will likely be instantly recognizable to most, and it serves as the foundation for this horror movie. Penned by Harry Boxley and helmed by director Jason Arber, “Mary Had a Little Lamb” features a cast led by May Kelly, Danielle Scott, and Christine Ann Nyland.
Carla, a radio host with a show focused on true crime and cold cases, is facing the threat of her program being canceled due to a lack of fresh material. Determined to keep her show alive, she embarks on an investigation into a series of disappearances, leading her and her crew to a remote house. Little do they know that the story of Mary and her little lamb is not just a tall tale. Mary is real, but the true danger lurks in the form of a monstrous man she refers to as ‘Lamb.’
The film follows a familiar horror concept, where a group of victims falls prey to a savage beast, in this case, one donning a sheep’s mask. Apart from the names and the frequent rendition of the nursery rhyme by the titular Mary, there’s little that directly connects this movie to its source material. However, this departure from the original is intentional, as further attempts to shoehorn in nursery rhyme elements would likely have come across as forced. “Mary Had a Little Lamb” is a serious and intense horror experience.
The film is unapologetically violent, bloody, and gory, boasting impressive special effects that make the gruesome scenes truly shine. The cast throws themselves into their roles, delivering enthusiastic performances, while the villains in the film expertly embrace their menacing personas. Occasional instances of questionable dialogue or extended talk-heavy sections are present but are infrequent and do not detract significantly from the overall experience.
While it may not break new ground in terms of originality, “Mary Had a Little Lamb” compensates with a passionate commitment to delivering a visceral and intense viewing experience, even within the constraints of a limited budget. Director Jason Arber successfully immerses the audience in the world of horror and action, and many viewers will appreciate the film’s graphic violence and intensity.