THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER (2017) Review: What The Flying Mother Was That?

The Killing of a Sacred Deer stars Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Alicia Silverstone & Barry Keoghan. The director of this film is Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, Dogtooth, The Favourite).

The film is...  well, let me set you up with the synopsis:
Dr. Steven Murphy (Farrell) is a renowned cardiovascular surgeon who presides over a spotless household with his wife (Kidman) and two children. Lurking at the margins of his idyllic suburban existence is Martin (Keoghan), a fatherless teen who insinuates himself into the doctor's life in gradually unsettling ways. Soon, the full scope of Martin's intent becomes menacingly clear when he confronts Steven with a long-forgotten transgression that will shatter his domestic bliss forever.
The synopsis itself sounds like a great dramatic mystery, but director Lanthimos seems to like to take the artistic,esoteric route to delivering messages about life.

For one, pretty much everyone in the film talks like they're from the planet Vulcan or that they're emotionless robots slowly spouting their lines. NO ONE stands out by their actions or words. It was weird... I thought we were looking at another planet...

The sex life between Farrell and Kidman is just THE WEIRDEST!!!

But why was the dialog so drab?  The reasoning behind this, is as follows:
"The audience isn't meant to form attachments to the characters, but rather question if Martin's actions are justified and wonder how Steven will react. The movie's weird dialogue ensures the audience focuses on the right elements of the movie, making it a truly unsettling watch."  


As the story develops, it takes a while to figure out what's going on until about the third act, as we're slowly (very very slowly) introduced to characters and situations. But along with the weird tone of dialog, we also have the most confusingly blatant attitudes of the characters. In one case, the parents are at a social function and they're talking about how their daughter has started menstruating. And later on, it seems to be a talking point for the daughter while she chats with a boy she just met!

I mean, what the heck!!!???

The reasoning behind how this story was oddly constructed is defined such as:
The Killing of a Sacred Deer is directly concerned with fate, with cosmic punishment of human hubris, with our so-called free will crumbling under the uncaringly cruel banalities of the universe. In exploring these themes, the film reminded me very much of a modern update on a Greek tragedy.


Even though the film was a bit confounding, it was done well enough for us to stick it out to see where it was going. We were exhausted from trying to watch the film and make heads or tails out of the delivery of the story. In fact, rather than not getting attached to the characters so we can follow the tale of fate and punishment, we were extremely distracted by the deadpan tone of the characters and why they were like this.


I'm guessing my household isn't exactly artistically minded regarding watching movies, but in IMDb the film has a 7/10 and the Rotten Tomatoes score is 80%.

So you be the judge.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Follow Cinema Static on: