The Killing of a Sacred Deer

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Colin Farrell reunites with his Lobster director to play a man whose placid domestic life and marriage to Anna (Nicole Kidman), is slowly disrupted by the demands of a teenage stalker who wields eerie power.

"Steven, a charismatic surgeon, is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice after his life starts to fall apart when the behaviour of a teenage boy he has taken under his wing turns sinister." (Cannes Film Festival)

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Trailers

Awards

Winner of Best Screenplay (tied with Lynne Ramsey for You Were Never Really Here), 2017 Cannes Film Festival

Directed by

Drama, Horror, Thriller, Festival & Independent

121mins

Rating: R16 Violence, cruelty & sex scenes

UK, Ireland

Aaron-Yap2

Aaron Yap

flicks

The surgically controlled madness of Yorgos Lanthimos’ method can be punishing. Over the last few years, the Greek auteur has rapidly established himself as a meticulous modulator of corrosively absurd scenarios. Squirmy and side-splitting in equal measure, his last film (The Lobster) imagined a dystopian future where single people unable to find soul mates are turned into animals. This singularly demented vision carries through to The Killing of a Sacred Deer, a film that isn’t as conceptually daring, but no less confrontational, perplexing and deliberate. If Kubrick ever wanted to skewer and roast suburban complacency via tragic Greek mythos and eye-for-an-eye stalker-revenge tropes, it’s possible that might’ve ended up something like this.

It’s a pulverising psychological quagmire, told with Lanthimos’ masterfully-honed deadpan severity. The expertly flat line deliveries, looming, wide-angle camerawork and stabby dissonant orchestral score all serve to unnerve the viewer. Add to that scenes of impromptu armpit hair inspection, partially paralyzed children either bleeding from the eyes or at the knees, and Alicia Silverstone sucking Colin Farrell’s hand over a viewing of Groundhog Day, and you have one uniquely unhinged experience. Lanthimos could probably coast a bit next time out, but I’m thankful he ventured all the way into the deep end for this. The Killing of a Sacred Deer is the most chilling, and grimly amusing, horror movie of the year. And given the foul state of affairs around the world at the moment, I found its grinding pessimism oddly cathartic.

Hollywood Reporter

press

The impressive rigour of its craft, the skillfully subdued intensity of the acting, and the startling originality of the story will make it unmissable for anyone who cares about bold filmmaking.

Little White Lies

press

The drained personalities of the characters serve to relieve the film of all dramatic tension.

Screen International

press

This is a ruthlessly controlled drama that achieves its powerful effect by holding back when its dramatic content is most intense.

The Guardian (UK)

press

As in all his best work, Lanthimos is brilliant at summoning up a whole created world and immersing us in it. But its weirdness has a double meaning: it has a stylised element of absurdism and it is also a plausible expression of denial.

TimeOut (London)

press

There's precious little warm blood pumping through this beautifully crafted but clinical film.

Variety (USA)

press

As allegories of extreme discomfort go, this one is masterfully orchestrated.

Vulture

press

To see an unfettered nightmare like this from such an idiosyncratic director feels like a cruel treat, and a welcome stylistic stretch.

Sydney Morning Herald

press

Bleakly brilliant.

Stuff.co.nz (James Croot)

press

At once almost surgically precise and gleefully messy, The Killing of a Sacred Deer is certainly not a film you can easily forget – and nor should you wish to.

Metro NZ (David Larsen)

press

This is not, in fact, a happy film. But it reinforces my sense that Lanthimos is one of the most original voices in today’s cinema.

Review: The Killing of a Sacred Deer

This movie is dark. My word is it dark.

Yorgos Lanthimos is known for his dark and twisted tales (Dogtooth, The Lobster) and this is a stellar instalment to his directing collection. Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman (who is having a hell of a 2017) are outstanding but the star is Barry Keoghan who is enthralling and disturbing.

If you like dark and grim - enjoy!


Arthouse cinematic catnip.

Cards on the table: I love, love, loved Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster, and Colin Farrell in it, so the pair’s reunion here comes with almighty expectations of yet more quirky, surreal, comic, tragic, dramatic surrealism.

All of those plus a large dollop of deeply disturbing, make this a dark, dark comedy, with a top-notch cast, that conjures up Kubrick in its precision, focus and unrelenting oddness.

Wonderful arthouse cinematic catnip.