Movie #90 2020: The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

For starters: Wow, Lanthimos. U ok hun?

This movie is equally disturbing as it is meaningful. Unfortunately, I’m not smart enough to fully understand what that meaning is.

However, there are things that I did like about this film.

Each performance was brilliant, especially those of veteran Nicole Kidman and upcoming superstar Sunny Suljic. Everyone in this movie is suitably brooding and miserable, but they also keep it real with their misery. The way each of the characters acts somehow reflects on how humans act in real life, despite this movie’s subject matter being mildly on the fantasy scale.

As usual, Lanthimos uses interesting camera techniques that you don’t regularly see any other directors using. I particularly love the way he sometimes shoots sequences from above, or with wide shots so that you can see the entire room. (Not to mention his inspired use of a fish eye lens, which rarely makes the cinema unless it’s to establish that a character is on some sort of psychedelic drug).

On top of brilliant cinematography, the soundtrack to this movie is also outstanding. It is aptly weird and creepy, keeping the entire movie tightly wrapped up neatly in an invisible rope. Unsurprisingly, the music editors in this movie also have their names attached to films such as Under the Skin, Waves, and past Lanthimos piece, The Lobster. All movies which have seen high levels of critical acclaim.

My only issues with this are that it was a tough watch – not all ‘tough watch’ movies are an issue for me, but there was something about this one that meant I wasn’t following completely throughout – and also that it is just not as good as The Favourite.

In my opinion, The Favourite (review HERE) was an almost perfect movie, and much more fascinating than Sacred Deer. If you ask me, this is one of those movies that is trying too hard.

Despite this, it is still worth a watch if not only for its cinematography, stunning music efforts, and some nuanced performances by its stars.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer is sadly no longer available to stream for free on Amazon Prime Video as it was when I watched it. However, you can rent it on YouTube or the Google Play Store for £2.49.

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