Arts & Culture Film

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Yazan Abusaleh ’22
Contributor

Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos works in a profoundly metaphorical register and uses unthinkable circumstances to illuminate relatable human fears.

The outcome is a mesmerising dark thriller that poses questions without good answers, and traps us with little hope for a happy ending within its bizarre and frightening situation.

Featuring consistently great performances throughout the film, and the amazing eye of Lanthimos for composition and detail, The Killing of a Sacred Deer is by far one my favourite films.

Colin Farrell plays Dr. Steven Murphy, a well-respected surgeon who seems to have it all: a great and lucrative job, a massive property, and a stunning wife named Anna, who also works in the medical field.

Together, they have two bright children who are at the top of their classes. Anyone could tell that Murphy seems to have a pretty ideal life.

Later in the film, Murphy befriends a 16-year-old boy named Martin. From Martin’s first appearance, there are clear signs that something is not right with the boy, and details of his relationship with the doctor are suspiciously unclear.

Murphy introduces Martin to his colleagues as a friend of his daughter’s, but this is a lie. Quickly, the plot thickens as one of Murphy’s children falls ill, and the story takes a turn for the worse. Murphy is confronted with an unbearable life changing decision.

It is a world of suburban perfection that becomes a waking nightmare, in which a doctor who plays God must face his wrath. 

Without spoiling anything else, this movie is a must-watch if you love thrillers. The movie is filled with many talented actors such as Nicole Kidman and Barry Keoghan, who is well known for his role in Dunkirk.

The cinematography is amazing; the camera wanders through hospital corridors making you feel claustrophobic as the tension rises, similar to The Shining. Barry Keoghan steals the show with his astonishing performance that will keep you at the edge of your seat.

Yorgos Lanthimos, with his stunning directing, has rightfully won many prestigious awards for his work such as the Palme d’Or award for best screenplay in 2017, among many others.

It is rare to find such a fascinating, unique, movie. It is a timeless film that is very interesting and feels so refined in its filmmaking. It’s also invigorating to watch, much like the Greek myth of Iphigenia that this film was inspired by.

I would certainly recommend this movie for people who are in for a thrilling ride that will creep anyone out.

9/10


Photo credit: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_killing_of_a_sacred_deer