(THE LOBSTER, DOGTOOTH)
Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan, Raffey Cassidy and Sunny Suljic
Fresh from their impeccable appearances in Sofia Coppola’s excellent erotic drama THE BEGUILED, Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman star in this new psychological thriller/horror from the director of the 2015 arthouse hit THE LOBSTER, Yorgos Lanthimos. Coincidentally, both this film and THE BEGUILED were nominated for the prestigious Palme d’Or award at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and each took away separate award wins, with THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER earning the Best Screenplay (a tie with YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE) prize.
Successful and renowned cardiovascular surgeon Dr Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell) lives in a beautiful home with his ophthamologist wife Anna (Nicole Kidman) and their two children, teenage daughter Kim (Raffey Cassidy) and twelve year-old son Bob (Sunny Suljic). At work, Steven is occasionally visited by a fatherless teenage boy, named Martin (Barry Keoghan from DUNKIRK), who he acts as a mentor for. As Martin’s visits become more frequent and his behaviour turns rather menacing, Steven’s personal life simultaneously begins to fall apart.
The sublime execution from Lanthimos at creating a bizarre world that is built within the commonalities of everyday society brilliantly procures every ounce of darkly odd humour it can derive and is an easing brewing of masterful psychological intrigue. What makes this fascinating world so curiously bizarre are the vocal mannerisms and the often random, off-centre & unorthodox dialogue that is exchanged by every character that inhabits the film. Being in the presence of such unworldly people in a familiar world sure as heck succeeds at gaining 100% of your attention!
Once the background concerning these characters’ pasts is formed and their future trajectories become increasingly bleak, which unfold together, THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER becomes an evermore transfixing experience. Now, that aforementioned psychological intrigue has assumed a much more ominous tone as the film evolves into the genre of true psychological horror. To this extent, THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER is a near masterpiece. Though there is no decline to its boundless psychological and atmospheric properties, all that hinders this film from earning all-round genuine excellence are some major flaws (particularly during its finale) in consistency that are needed for the validation of what is ultimately being sold.
3 ½ stars
MA15+ (Strong themes)
THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER
Moviedoc thanks Madman Entertainment for the in-season pass provided to watch and review this film.
Review by Moviedoc / “LIKE” on Facebook – Moviedoc