Review: The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (2017)

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After receiving awards attention for The Lobster, Colin Farrell reunites with its director Yorgos Lanthimos for The Killing Of A Sacred Deer, a pitch black comedy that puts a modern twist on a Greek myth. Steven (Farrell), a cardiac surgeon, leads an idyllic suburban life with his wife, Anna (Nicole Kidman), and their two kids. But when Martin (Barry Keoghan), a teenager Steven shares an odd relationship with, worms his way further into their lives, things take a dark turn. It’d be a spoiler to reveal too much, but what transpires is equal parts fascinating and haunting. The sterile manner in which Steven and his family live falls victim to a nightmarish series of events that seem to emanate from Martin, who’s out to restore balance through karma. Keoghan, who had a relatively small part in Dunkirk, is mesmerising here; his stare alone enough to perturb. Farrell and Kidman are as well coursed as each other in deadpan, working from a script that’s ambiguous, droll and controlled, so as to build tension and suspense. It works for the most part, though the film could do with a slight trim to make it that bit tighter in the middle. But that said, The Killing Of A Sacred Deer is through-and-through a Lanthimos film, and announces – no, confirms – Keoghan’s arrival, while delivering a transfixing delight.

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