THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER (2017) Reviews and overview

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The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a 2017 Irish-British psychological horror-thriller film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster; Dogtooth), from a screenplay co-written with Efthymis Filippou. It stars Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman and Barry Keoghan.

Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell), a charismatic surgeon, is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice after his life starts to fall apart, when the behaviour of Martin (Barry Keoghan), a teenage boy he has taken under his wing turns sinister…

The Killing of a Sacred Deer is scheduled to be released in the United States on October 27, 2017, by A24 (Swiss Army Man; The Monster; The Witch). It is released in the UK on November 17, 2017, by Curzon Artificial Eye.


“It’s a film that challenges viewers in such fascinating ways and feels so refined in its filmmaking that it’s invigorating to watch. It’s a rare movie indeed that can be this alternately terrifying, hysterical, strange, and heartbreaking, often in the same scene. Like the Greek myth that inspired the film, it feels powerful enough to be timeless.”

“Farrell and Kidman both give stand-out performances of deliberate restraint which provides even greater emphasis to the horrors that are about to unfold. Lanthimos confirms his reputation as one of contemporary cinema’s most original and unsettling directors with a vision all of his own.” Eye for Film

” …the coldness at times seems a bit too detached, and the conclusion, while awful, is not entirely unexpected. But with humour so black it’s often difficult to laugh, and a strangeness that feels far more real (and thereby more frightening) than in his previous films, Lanthimos’ warped vision finds an unsettling but effective home in the horror tropes explored in The Killing of a Sacred Deer.” Screen Anarchy

” …though it may be a matter of his growing film budgets, Lanthimos’ style seems more evolved here; his camera zooms down hospital hallways, lurks in corners of basements, and spreads his images out in a subtle fish-eye view that simultaneously enhances both his sense of dread and his sense of sangfroid.” The Movie Waffler

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 […] What Lanthimos does is lead us into his own kind of eerie forest clearing in which this deer is to be horribly slain.” The Guardian

Cast and characters:

  • Colin Farrell as Steven Murphy (The Beguiled; Fright Night; Total Recall)
  • Nicole Kidman as Anna Murphy (The Beguiled; Stoker; The Invasion; Dead Calm)
  • Barry Keoghan as Martin
  • Raffey Cassidy as Kim Murphy
  • Sunny Suljic as Bob Murphy
  • Alicia Silverstone as Martin’s mother
  • Bill Camp as Matthew

Filming locations:

Cincinnati, Ohio

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