Killing of a Sacred Deer disturbs audience


Dr. Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell) begins to clean up after an unsuccessful surgery. Photo used with permission from MCT Campus.

 Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos presents a satirical horror, Killing of a Sacred Deer. The film surrounds a charismatic surgeon, Steven, who takes a deceased patient’s son under his wing. The boy posseses an estranged personality that makes him a mystery throughout the film.  However, once Steven’s son, Bob (Sunny Suljic), falls victim to a mysterious illness and becomes paralyzed, Marvin makes his true intentions clear. 

At the very beginning of the movie I was already captivated, Lanthimos aimed for the audience to be disturbed, humoured and thrilled. I gasped at the first scene in which Lanthimos opens the movie with a close up of real open heart surgery, after seeing that I knew this movie was not for the faint-hearted. However, knowing Lanthimos for his films The Lobster and Dogtooth I understood his dark style. There is a small uneasiness throughout the movie, another part of Lanthimos’s sense of humour. Every moment can have an extra strange beat that somehow makes it  hilarious, it was all unpredictable. I was on edge the whole time.

Unsettling could be the best word to describe the movie. The Killing of a Sacred Deer immediately pushes on the idea of sacrifice. Not only that but, Lanthimos puts the audience in very uncomfortable situations to make them squirm in their seats.

I never expected to be so uncomfortable. From questionable scenes to even the sounds the movie made me uncomfortable. Lanthimos reached his goal in making the audience part of the film but feeling the uneasiness Steven felt throughout the whole film.

In all honesty, the plot was not exactly the best but in return, I was satisfied with the acting. I never had a movie disturb yet intrigue me at the same time, that is just exactly what Lanthimos wanted.

Overall I’d say this film was: 6.5/10 for its artistic views and spectacular acting. However, there is still the unsettling plot and theme that make it too morbid.