REVIEW: THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER (2017)

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“You do realize, Steven, we’re in this situation because of you.” 

The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a gut-wrenching film that tells the story of a middle aged doctor named Steven (Colin Farrell) who befriends a teenage boy after the boy’s father dies during heart surgery. When the friendship between the two takes a chilling turn, Steven’s family is put on the chopping block in a cruel act of revenge.

This film will grab a hold of you from the very first scene. What better than to freak out an audience with an opening scene of a real life heart surgery. From that one scene, you’re driven to the edge of your seat and you’re in a trance by this sickening story that is unfolding before your very eyes. The cast is overwhelmingly exceptional to the story. Both Nicole Kidman, who plays Steven’s wife, Anna, and Farrell, are nothing but perfection throughout the film. When the story takes an immediate turn, both of these actors are along for the ride. But without a doubt the young people rival these A-list celebrities with their brilliance. But who surprised me the most was young actor Barry Keoghan, who plays the vindictive teenager, Martin. Keoghan might look a little familiar to many of you as he played George in the film Dunkirk. lead_960This is a big jump from the good hearted WW2 film to this crazy environment. The group of actors brilliantly progress each of their characters as they all lead up to climax of the film.

But it is director Yorgos Lanthimos, most known for The Lobster, who’s visionary work often puts the audience in an uncomfortable position. But Lanthimos goes above and beyond his previous works with a Kubrickian style film, that would rival that of his inspiration. The long scenes in hallways of bright white, or the drowning out of an individual’s conversation with incredibly loud music, increase the anxiety of the audience members. In one scene especially, the young girl Kim (Raffey Cassidy) is singing Burn by Ellie Goulding. Whether it be a chart topping pop song or a famous Christmas carol, Lanthimos takes these songs and uses them to send chills down your spine.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer, inspired by the story of Iphigenia in Aulis by Euripides, which I won’t summarize here because it may spoil this film, is a creative story and a beautifully shot film that will make a movie lover go gaga. It may not appeal to everyone, for everyone may not wish to see a disturbing film such as this. But Lanthimos takes this film to the next level and provides a visually stunning film for the audience.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Directed by: Yorgos Lanthimos

Starring: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan, and Raffey Cassidy

Rating:

killing of a sacred deer rating poster

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