The Killing Of My Time

The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

For fans of Yorgos Lanthimos’ last project, The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer is…disappointing. What The Lobster had in acting, compelling story, and likable characters is completely absent in Sacred Deer. For a movie that is lauded as a thriller, it isn’t all that thrilling; men really are just like this. This story of doctor Steven Murphy’s (Colin Farrell)-frankly troubling- relationship with Martin (Barry Keoghan), an ex-patient’s son, takes a turn when it’s revealed that the younger counterpart is out for revenge. Not only does it take too long to get to this plot point, once it’s presented you don’t really feel anything about it. Steven’s marriage is straight out of Eyes Wide Shut (including a subdued Nicole Kidman) and you barely learn anything about his weird, overly formal children.

The movie quickly devolves into a tale of men doing what they do: over explaining to and dismissing women in a similar field, needlessly lying, and feeling like they have to prove themselves when the answer is literally directly in their face. The decision Steven is faced with seems very simple: choose someone to die to make up for the death he caused. As you take this journey, continuing to learn nothing about this family, you’re barraged with horrible scene after horrible scene that would likely be improved if anyone was remotely interesting.

After his son gets sick he is told outright: your family is going to die if you don’t make a choice. They’ll become paralyzed, lose all desire to eat, bleed from the eyes, and then finally die. And for some reason after gaining this information he insists the hospital run endless tests that yield nothing without ever telling anyone the truth of the situation. By the time his daughter gets sick, the hospital kicks them out. His wife finds out late in the game and approaches Martin, rightfully asking why she and her children should suffer and only gets the answer that it’s the closest thing to justice. And you get to the point where you believe he could be right. Steven clearly will learn nothing unless he adequately suffers.

Between the children arguing about who will be chosen to die, the son literally crawling the floors of their home to cut his hair and assure his father he wants to be a cardiologist just like him, and Steven literally asking the school principal to make the choice for him, which mind you all happened within the same ten-ish or so minutes, I realized I was done with this movie. I don’t care how it ends*. Despite having a stellar cast, the acting is wooden, the characters aren’t sympathetic– which is astounding since The Lobster made me cry over a dog, and the story is more than a little garbage. There are better options to watch the cast be truly amazing: The Lobster for Colin Farrell, Big Little Lies for Nicole Kidman, and Dunkirk for Barry Koeghan.

The only shining point of the movie is a “pivitol” scene in which Nicole Kidman’s character calls out Steven; she tells him the situation is his own fault and that he should be the one to fix it however he can. This is quickly ruined by his condescension and rage, throwing plates and glasses asking if there are any ingredients for a magic potion in the house. Funnily enough, he later tells her that the situation isn’t worth arguing over even though all she did was calmly state facts. His solution ended up being kidnapping and beating Martin, so a lost cause is a lost cause.

This movie is terrible. If you liked The Lobster just watch it again. At least you know it wouldn’t be a waste of two hours. Side note, I thought of Dunkirk as “meh” in terms of it being a Christopher Nolan movie, but after this it’s outstanding cinema. I take back everything I said about you Dunkirk you were amazing.

This Adventure Time gif is better than this whole two hour movie in terms of being terrifying.



*edit: at the time that I wrote this I still had twenty four minutes of the movie left. I finished it because I’d felt I made a commitment upon writing this article. That was a bad choice.

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