7/10 “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” was my 10th most anticipated film of 2017. Director Yorgos Lanthimos might be the most original film maker working today. Like his films or not, you cannot argue that they aren’t original, unique and memorable. He is a Greek director and his first two films were in his native Greek language. For his 3rd film he made his English language debut with one of last year’s most underrated films, “The Lobster” which I enjoyed so I was deservedly hyped for his follow up. Although this film isn’t for mainstream audiences (or most people to be honest), I still found myself drawn to it for some of the same reasons I have been drawn to his first three films. The originality of the story is the biggest selling point and I love that the film’s trailers don’t even really give away what this film is truly about. The opening moments of the film begin with a pitch black screen and music playing followed by a surgery being performed. That ballsy opening was very memorable and you don’t often see that “go for broke” opening when it comes to American directors. He has a stellar cast whom all give terrific performances and fit the material well. The film, like all of Lanthimos’s films, is very adult and dark and the humor it contains is dry/dark as well. I tend to enjoy that kind of thing but I know mainstream audiences do not. The production values from the cinematography and score standpoint were excellent and the story unfolds slowly, only giving you little pieces of information at a time, which suited the film and I enjoyed. The overall direction is phenomenal and makes me a bigger fan of his filmography. The biggest negative is what isn’t explained. Now not all films have to explain everything that happened in them (just watch a David Lynch film) but I kept wondering if they were going to explain how the antagonist teenage boy in the film pulled off what he did. I kept waiting for the grand reveal to show how he pulled it off and it never came. I realized days later while contemplating the film that the film wasn’t about HOW he pulled off what he had done but the film was about what you would do if you were in a situation where you had to essentially choose which of your family members you would kill off to save the rest. How would you make that decision, whom would you choose? The dark humor which I enjoyed comes from the father trying to figure out the answer to that question, going to the school principal and asking which of his kids did better in class. However, I would have liked to have known some things and I ended up feeling a little dissatisfied at the end of the movie with the lack of consequences and closure but this unique film was memorable and intriguing enough to get me through the film and still make me want to explore it again later. If you are a fan of the director’s other works or odd, unique films, give this a go but be prepared to do some head scratching by the film’s end.
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