The Killing of a Sacred Deer, 2017
Signed up the 28/03/2017
The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a chilling moral tale on fairness and balance. No matter how unhinged the form it comes in. No matter the pain it causes. Fairness is fairness. If knocked out of balance the world is sure to go through withdrawals until balance is reintroduced.
A teenage boy befriends the surgeon who was operating on his father when the father died. The kid wants to make the doctor feel the pain he's felt since his father passed on, and the only way to do that is to kill one of his family members too. From the second this odd, indulgent friendship is introduced on screen, the audience is made to feel uncomfortable, tense through sound and camera movement angling. The sound is unsettled, the camera uneasy. It's as though you're being made to watch on as a fatal car-crash is about to occur, and it is important to you that you witness it though you're not certain why exactly.
The world-building in this movie is as believable as can get. This is an important aspect to check-off for such a movie. A mystery/thriller, with elements of horror, is often tough to crack as the pacing of the movie depends on how believable the setting, then story and characters, is. Sacred Deer's production design and ghostliness thereof is on the same standard as movies such as Fincher's Gone Girl and Villeneuve's Arrival. Goes without saying that this is the movie to envy from 2017 as far as overall aesthetic goes.
Each one of the cast members is to behold. From the kids, the antagonist, to Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell as the couple bitterly targeted by the kid mourning his father. The dialogue sounds like a requiem and is intentionally rythmical. It helps a great deal that the delivery from the cast is of a stellar standard. The cast use various pitches of their voices to exact their unique and strange character traits. It's disturbing to witness them speaking in their unusual accents and their weird voices. Watching this family interact is like watching on as aliens try out their best impression of what it is to be human. It's fascinatingly written.
Extreme and violent human behaviour and the survival instinct that goes with it is explored to a satisfying extent. What would you do to save your loved ones? To save yourself? Apparently this sort of theme, where no bars are held in terms of what heinous acts one is capable of commiting, makes for great entertainment. It is simply exhilarating to watch the calm before the storm, as the movie builds up to what we all know will happen. By the time the atrocities unfold we've already dedicated too much of our emotions—as well as picked sides—towards either the sinner (the surgeon who killed the kid's father) or the god (the kid).
I have to emphasise how stunning and breathtaking the camera work is. The camera is always creeping towards someone to highlight how disturbing the events that take place in this movie are. The long-shots and close-ranges are precise in describing how much the movie has progressed. It's truly a work of art when a director is able to attach the camera-work to the root of the story.
This is a movie you want to witness. An exploration of the dark side of any human being alive. A study on how we handle the pressures we'd never experienced before, or ever expected to occur. It helps that it is visually stunning to look at too. The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a wholesome, revolting experience.
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