• Director: Jason Arber
  • Writer: Harry Boxley
  • Stars: Danielle Scott, May Kelly, Lila Lasso


We all know the nursery rhyme Mary Had a Little Lamb, but have you ever thought about the backstory? Who, exactly, is Mary and what’s the deal with her lamb? Well, writer Harry Boxley has stepped up to the challenge of answering these questions and his ability to mix outlandishness with real problems and throw them into a nursery rhyme gone horror is strangely impressive.

To keep the story ultra-modern, we begin with a podcast because are you even alive if you don’t have a podcast these days? Led by Carla (May Kelly), this podcast team is desperate to find a new angle because they are all at risk of losing their jobs if they can’t produce better ratings. Instead of focusing on decades old cold cases, Carla’s boss suggests she finds a way to get some excitement into the podcast and this leads her to follow up on disappearances that have been occurring in a remote spot in the woods.

Director Jason Arber manages to balance the wackiness with the horror in such a fun way that, even though you’re watching a half man/half sheep go around murdering people, you don’t question it too much and a lot of credit must also be given to Christine Ann Nyland for this as well. As the titular Mary of the nursery rhyme, Nyland is lovable and utterly believable as a mom who is just trying to keep her son and herself safe from the cruelty of the real world. At one point, she does share the origin story of her “little lamb” and it’s a bit of a disappointment for several reasons, but I suppose we shouldn’t get too bogged down in technicalities in a movie about a homicidal man/sheep taking out some podcasters.

Mary Had a Little Lamb feels a lot like a sibling film to Texas Chainsaw Massacre if not just a straight up homage. It’s obvious that the entire cast had a great time filming this and everyone was on the same page about the level of sincerity and levity a film of this nature does or does not require. Kelly, especially, shows us some of her best work to date and really showcases why she’s becoming the next Scream Queen to watch. This movie is so much better than it has any right to be and has me hoping that Arber and Bosley will team up again to turn another sweet nursery rhyme into something sinister.

Available on Digital October 3

Lisa Fremont


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