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The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Dr. Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell) and his wife Anna (Nicole Kidman) have two children, Kim and Bob. Everything is perfect – both are doctors; he is a cardiologist, and she is an ophthalmologist. The children as impeccably smart and ask very intelligent and mature questions. In the opening of the film, Dr. Murphy meets with a teenage boy, Martin (Barry Keoghan) who has a relationship with Dr. Murphy that is vague. The film is the story of what happens to the family as the nature of the relationship between them becomes (menacingly) clearer. Yorgos Lanthimos, who directed Lobster, has crafted another singularly weird but clever horror film. The performances are uniformly sterile and non-emotional, even as the family unit begins to fall apart. Kidman, who thankfully continues to take on risky roles, and Farrell are very good, but the acting by Keoghan is brilliant – a typical teenager one moment and a positively creepy antagonist the next. The music is odd and fits the film perfectly (and sometimes adds its moments of comic relief). There are places in the movie that are just oddly and unexpectedly funny. Thumbs up for a film that probably will be too weird for most, but if you enjoy quirky genre-defying psychological horror films where the director takes risks, this will be one to add to your list.

About Gary Burkholder

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