Along with writing partner Efthymis Filippou, director Yorgos Lanthimos has outdone himself once again (after wowing audiences with The Lobster). The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a cautionary tale that is full of stark imagery, fascinating performances, offbeat humour and wickedly dark strokes of malevolence that deliver a movie-going experience which is hard to surmise, but is utterly beguiling all the same.
Colin Farrell plays Steven Murphy, a doctor befriended by a mysterious boy named Martin (a sensational Barry Keoghan – Dunkirk). Ingraining himself into Steven’s family – comprising of wife Nicole Kidman (Paddington), daughter Raffey Cassidy (Tomorrowland) and son Sunny Suljic, Martin soon lays down an ultimatum to Steven… one that will rock his entire world.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer’s beauty comes from its steadfast desire to be completely unpredictable. Lanthimos has produced a far more peculiar follow-up to The Lobster than one could have ever imagined, proving that he is one of the most important talents working in the industry today. Giving you questions upon more questions, the film is happy to present you with unanswerable situations in a plight to get the audience involved in the narrative dialogue.
You’ve honestly never seen a film quite like this, and to delve into the plot any further would do this a massive disservice. All that should be said is how convincing the cast are. Farrell is superb as usual and Nicole Kidman’s career resurgence just seems to be picking up even momentum with every passing project. The two leads are simply sublime here and are afforded solid support in the form of Bill Camp, Raffey Cassidy and Sunny Suljic. It’s great to see Alicia Silverstone back on the big screen too and Barry Keoghan is outstanding as Martin.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a fascinating and memorable project that lingers long in the mind. Dark doesn’t even begin to cover it, but the subject matter is wrapped up between biting satire, almost childlike dialogue (that’s fully intentional) and a story that keeps surprising at every turn. Barry Keoghan shows that he is the one to beat for his generation, handing in a nuanced and deeply creepy role that’s devoid of cliché and predictability. The chemistry from the entire cast helps make this one of the films of the year, an uncomfortable but very enjoyable journey into the dark recesses of the minds of Lanthimos and Filippou.
Cast: Colin Farrell, Barry Keoghan, Nicole Kidman, Raffey Cassidy, Alicia Silverstone, Sunny Suljic, Bill Camp Director: Yorgos Lanthimos Writer: Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou Released By: Curzon Artificial Eye Certificate: 15 Duration: 120 mins Release Date: 2nd November 2017