The Killing Of A Sacred Deer

The Killing Of A Sacred Deer

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The Killing of a Sacred Deer is an unsettling psychological thriller about a surgeon who is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice after his life starts to fall apart. Deeply disturbing but compelling film from Yorgos Lanthimos.

The Killing Of A Sacred Deer originates from a Greek tragedy. It is based on the story where an innocent person is sacrificed for killing a deer owned by the goddess Artemis.

This modern twist comes from director Yorgos Lanthimos and follows a brilliant surgeon named Dr. Steven Murphy, who leads a seemingly perfect life with his wife, Anna and their two children, Kim and Bob.

Released in 2017, it stars Colin Farrell, Barry Keoghan and Nicole Kidman and is well-regarded as a solid horror with a twist of mystery.

If you haven't already seen The Killing of a Sacred Deer, let's look at what it's all about. And, of course, if it is worth watching.

What Is The Killing of a Sacred Deer About?

The movie introduces us to a family with a perfect life. Both parents are successful, the father, Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell), is a renowned cardiovascular surgeon and the mother, Anna Murphy (Nicole Kidman), is an ophthalmologist. They have two children, and overall, the entire family is very happy.

But after the loss of a patient on the operating table, Steven covers his guilt by befriending Martin (Barry Keoghan), the son of the dead patient. What he doesn't know is that Martin wants retribution and decides to exact horrifying revenge on Dr Murphy's family.

As Martin becomes more involved in the Murphy family's life, strange and inexplicable events start to occur. Bob (Sunny Suljic), the younger of the two children, suddenly loses the ability to walk. Despite countless medical tests, no physical cause can be found, leaving Dr. Murphy puzzled and desperate for answers.

It becomes clear that Martin possesses an eerie power that can only be described as supernatural. He reveals to Dr. Murphy that his family members will suffer the same fate as Bob unless the doctor makes a horrific choice: he must choose one member of his family to be sacrificed. The consequences of not complying are unthinkable.

Caught in a nightmarish predicament, Dr. Murphy is torn between saving his family and the moral dilemma of sacrificing an innocent life. As tensions rise and time runs out, the Murphy family descends into a terrifying downward spiral, their lives hanging in the balance.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer Official Trailer

Is The Killing of a Sacred Deer Worth Watching?

Yorgos Lanthimos wrote and directed the film, basing it on a Greek myth. The intensity of the script keeps the audience focused, but it is the visuals and accompanying music that unsettles the senses.

This is very much an exceptional arthouse movie, that is close to perfection. Taking an idyllic suburban existence, a very limited cast of characters and a truly horrifying plot has made The Killing of a Sacred Deer an unmissable movie.

What I will say though, is that The Killing of a Sacred Deer is not a feel-good movie. It is about as intense and unsettling as you can possibly get. At times it becomes bizarre, with pitch-black humor bubbling to the surface but then twists rapidly into classic horror themes.

The film delves into themes of guilt, sacrifice, and the consequences of one's actions. The performances of the cast are hauntingly captivating, with Colin Farrell portraying Dr. Murphy's internal struggle with a deeply unsettling intensity. Nicole Kidman delivers a riveting performance as Anna, torn between her love for her family and the unimaginable choices they face.

But it is Barry Keoghan who steals the show completely. His portrayal of a fatherless teen is amazing, awkward and naive but convincingly terrifying.

With its eerie cinematography, The Killing of a Sacred Deer keeps will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout. As the film reaches its climax, the tension becomes almost unbearable, leading to a shocking and unexpected twist that will leave you speechless.

In the end, The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a haunting exploration of morality and the lengths a person will go to protect their loved ones. Its thought-provoking narrative ensures that it will linger in your mind long after the credits roll.

If you have never seen a Yorgos Lanthimos film before, this is a perfect introduction to his work. Just make sure you are in the right mood for a very different experience.

Cast Of The Movie

Colin Farrell as Steven Murphy

Nicole Kidman (Before I Wake) as Anna Murphy

Barry Keoghan as Martin Lang, a teenage boy whose father died when Steven operated on him.

Raffey Cassidy as Kim Murphy

Sunny Suljic as Bob Murphy

Alicia Silverstone (Clueless) as Martin's Mother

Bill Camp as Matthew Williams

Barry Bernson as Dr. Larry Banks

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  • Amazing Cinematography
  • Clever Psychological Thriller
  • Great Cast
  • Yorgos Lanthimos


  • Confusing At Times
  • Purposefully Uncomfortable To Watch


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