The Killing of the Sacred Deer DVD Reviewed By Clayton Barnett

The Premise
Steven, a charismatic surgeon, is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice after his life starts to fall apart, when the behavior of a teenage boy he has taken under his wing turns sinister.

The Review
It’s been two long years since Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster, and If you’ve been hanging out for another serving of his signature style settle in for a wicked edge-of-your-seat delight.

Acclaimed Greek director Lanthimos (Dogtooh) won Best Screenplay (well tied at least) with regular collaborator Efthymis Filippou and was nominated for Palme d-Or at Cannes this year. Fair enough too for the auteur’s first American effort continues his startling original work.

He’s paired up again with The Lobster alum Colin Farrell, a man totally underrated for his knack for black humour (In Bruges is still one of my favourites), and just like The Lobster underplays it well as the teetotaller heart surgeon. What’s a surprise is Nicole Kidman, playing a surgeon herself, who has an underlying dark streak that keeps you guessing to her true motives.

Barry Keoghan, who brought tears as George in Dunkirk, continues his great form as the gets-under-your-skin Martin. Like a possessed Forrest Gump his simple nature is unsettling as hell.

While some might find Lanthimos’s style wearing thin - especially his deadpan dialogue - it’s his ability to keep you on edge that makes his film so electric. My nerves were shred for large chunks, only broken by absurdly funny moments – Stephen’s daughter ‘singing’ Elle Goulding’s Light it Up or Stephen and Martin and Martin’s mother (a nice cameo from Alicia Silverstone) watching Groundhog Day.

The shocking opening scene, the jarring score that kicks in in the most mundane scenes, and an arsenal of Kurbrickian camera angles push that feeling of unease. Lanthimos’s regular cinematographer Thimios Bakatakis never goes for the norm, following Stephen from high above as he navigates long corridors, shooting extreme close ups of food, holding on sexually-charged shots long past uncomfortableness.

Just like his previous two celebrated and polarising films this is a self-contained world, heavy on metaphor – at one stage Martin actually delivers Stephen an all-too-realistic one – about justice and the consequences of our actions.

The Verdict
A warped, slow burn psychological thriller that will deliver some divided debate long after the credits have rolled.
The Trailer

The Info
DVD Releases: 21st March 2018
Rating: R16 – Contains Violence, cruelty & sex scenes
Duration: 119 minutes
Genre:  Horror, Drama
Starring: Barry Keoghan, Nicole Kidman, Alicia Silverstone, Colin Farrell
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster)
The Extras
Colin Farrell admittedly felt nauseous after reading the script for the film.
Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell quickly began working together on The Beguiled (2017) only a few weeks later they wrapped filming on this film. Both films would go on to be in competition for the Palme d'Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and both would win awards in the official competition ("The Beguiled" won the Directing award for Sofia Coppola while "The Killing of a Sacred Deer" shared the Screenplay award with Lynne Ramsay's You Were Never Really Here (2017)).
Second collaboration between Yorgos Lanthimos and Colin Farrell.
Acting for the 1st time in his 67 years, Cincinnati native Michael Trester as the Elderly Man converses with Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman and Bill Camp in a scene at a medical convention banquet.
The film's title comes from the ending of the tragedy Iphigenia in Aulis by Euripides.