The Killing of a Sacred Deer movie review - Aussieboyreviews


It’s not a complete true story or a retelling, but the film is inspired by an ancient Greek tragedy. However, you don’t need to be fascinated in Greek tragedies to be compelled in The Killing of a Sacred Deer.


Steven Murphy is a surgeon who takes an awkward teenage boy whose father died during an operation under his wing. However, when Steven’s family begin to suffer and he finds out that the teenager has a sinister plan of his own, he is forced to make an unimaginable sacrifice.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Cast: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan, Raffey Cassidy, Sunny Suljic, Alicia Silverstone
Writer: Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou
Release Date (Australia): 16 November 2017
Runtime: 121 minutes/2h 1m
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
Country: Ireland, USA
Language: English

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (MA15+)

The film’s themes are mainly concerned with a surgeon’s family beginning to suffer from an unknown illness, in which he must kill one of his family members before they all fall sick and die. There is disturbing thematic material relating to death, sacrifice, alcoholism, revenge, force-feeding and depictions of a boy’s eyes bleeding.

Violence (M)

The film contains disturbing depictions of violence in the form of shootings, characters being beaten and a character biting into his own arm, accompanied by depictions of blood detail.

Coarse Language (M)

The film contains two uses of “f**k”.

Nudity (M)

The film contains a scene of brief full frontal female nudity.

Sex (M)

The film contains verbal sexual references, a depiction of a woman implicitly masturbating a man, and two scenes in which a nude woman seduces her husband while pretending to be unconscious.

mpaa rating

R (for disturbing violent and sexual content, some graphic nudity and language)

Aussie boy's thoughts

Every scene’s bleak atmosphere, riveting dialogue and sense of dread all stem down to the screenplay. If you told a modern story that’s very loosely based around an ancient Greek tragedy, but took some of the arthouse style from The Shape of Water and pack it in with the bizarreness of Mother!, you end up with the result of The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

After taking a strange teenage boy enrolled by Barry Keoghan under his wing, a surgeon performed by Colin Farrell begins to suspect that the boy has a sinister plan of his own when his family begins to suffer from an unknown illness, leaving him with no choice but to make an unimaginable sacrifice. Although deeply disturbing and unquestionably strange, this psychological horror-drama is depravedly entertaining, incredibly complex, highly original and captivating to the point where you won’t dare to leave your seat until the grim ending finally emerges from around corner after corner.

The technical elements to this film are simply outstanding; the direction paints every moment with a dark atmosphere, captured through brilliant decisions for angles and escorted with a haunting soundtrack that plants goosebumps on the back of your neck. Every character, even from the ones who show up infrequently, seems to have a very bulky impact on the story and the actors deliver each of their lines in an uncomfortable way that cuts all of the light out. Admittedly however, the direction, atmosphere, performances and ideas all measure up together as an outcome of the screenplay.

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