The Killing of a Sacred Deer, by the Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, is an exciting film mixing the psychological tension of a thriller and the terror of a horror film.
With The Killing of a Sacred Deer, the Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos comes back to the Croisette with an exciting thriller that turns into a horror film. The plot emerges little by little through sophisticated images and an anguishing soundtrack that sometimes approaches exasperation. The tension gradually steps up, overwhelming the characters, culminating in an unthinkable family sacrifice.
Very graphic images
The film opens with a picture worthy of a symposium of cardiology: a hart operation with a naked heart beating, miracle of throbbing life, to the sound of grandiose choral music. That sets the tone!
Yorgos Lanthimos is back in the Festival de Cannes Official Selection after the rather absurd and tenebrous fable The Losbster, Jury Prize in 2015. This time the film is more accessible. Although it takes some time at the beginning to enter into the film, one remains fascinated by very graphic and virtuosic images, with rather dark interior lights, distilling a persistent tension. Once the truth revealed about Martin’s intentions, who throws the Murphy’s quiet and comfortable life into the turmoil, The Killing of a Sacred Deer takes on a frightening dimension…
A terrible curse
Steven Murphy (Colin Farrel) is a specialist in cardiac surgery. His wife Anna (Nicole Kidman) runs an ophthalmology clinic. They live happy with their two children Kim (Raffey Cassidy), 14 year-old and Bob (Sunny Suljic), 12 years old. Steven often meets Martin (Barry Keoghan), a 16-year-old boy, the son of a patient deceased during one of his many operations.
Steven invites Martin to dinner at his house and the young boy will gradually interfere in the family, becoming more and more intrusive. When Bob is suddenly struck with a paralysis whose cause is impossible to diagnose, Martin let Steven know the terrible curse that befalls his family.
La Croisette bewitched?
The story of The Killing of a Sacred Deer could have been written by Stephen King: terror and horror sneak into people’s life and their gears are moving slowly but implacably, taking the helpless protagonists to a sinister and inescapable denouement. With the agreement of his family, Steven is finally forced to make an odious sacrifice or run the risk of losing everything.
Nicole Kidman, accustomed to complex and confusing films, is brilliant as a woman who understands little by little the fateful situation and its glacial denouement, while her husband – with his beard, the excellent Colin Farrel looks like a good teddy bear – seems overwhelmed by events.
The young Barry Keoghan is one of the revelation of the 70th Cannes Film Festival. He gives a great performance in his role of a mentally disturbed kid but licensed wizard, who coldly poisons the fate of the Murphy family.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer
A film by Yorgos Lanthimos
Color – 1h49.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer Red Carpet in images
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