Alternate Title: Surgeon’s Choice


If you asked me to list my favourite directors, here are my top three:

  1. Guillermo del Toro – I want to curl up inside his brain and take a nap despite the soul-crushing disappointment that was Crimson Peak (2015)
  2. Simon Rumley – You must watch Red, White & Blue (2010) or his deranged but brilliant contribution to the anthology horror film Little Deaths (2011)
  3. Yorgos Lanthimos. Oh, Yorgos Lanthimos, you beautiful weirdo.

Lanthimos, the Greek director of Dogtooth (2009) and The Lobster (2015), gifts us with yet another glimpse into his weird and wonderful imagination in this psychological horror film.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer is based on the Greek myth of King Agamemnon, his daughter Iphigenia, the goddess Artemis and, as per the film’s title, one dead deer. Go forth and Google.

Colin Farrell, star of The Lobster and the director’s deadpan muse, is in the best form of his career.
He plays Dr. Steven Murphy, a successful cardiothoracic surgeon, with a beautiful wife played by the icily perfect Nicole Kidman, two beautiful kids (Kim and Bob) and a beautiful home.
Other than a strange bedroom ritual (I won’t divulge more here but it does kind of involve general anaesthesia), his life appears to be perfect. Until everything goes to shite.

When he first meets with the teenage Martin (the excellent newcomer, Barry Keoghan), you immediately think “Hmmmm.” Martin immediately comes off as odd and unnerving. Their meetings appear to be quite suspect especially when Steven gifts him an expensive watch and lies to a colleague about who he is when he unexpectedly visits him at his hospital.

When Steven invites him home to meet his family, it appears that the relationship between the boy and the surgeon is innocent. The viewer goes from suspecting Steven is up to no good to suspecting Martin himself. It soon becomes evident that Steven has a stalker on his hands…

Half way through the film, and after a building sense of dread, the film suddenly veers from Fatal Attraction to Sophie’s Choice. To give any more away would be to deprive you of the thrill of watching the film with no idea what’s going on or what’s going to happen next.


The Killing of a Sacred Deer is definitely a Yorgos Lanthimos film yet it doesn’t feel like the carbon copy of a successful formula (ahem, Wes Anderson). If you are a fan of the director, you will definitely enjoy the film and if you are new to his work, it may just make you want to watch his earlier films.


  • Vanessa Cervantes