You need to watch the creepiest psychological thriller on Netflix before it leaves next week
“A surgeon never kills a patient”
How much do movies have to portray real life? Disregarding superpowers, sci-fi, and other larger-than-life aspects, when we watch two people have a conversation, how much do we need the conversation to mimic what we would actually hear in reality?
Yes, drama movies are supposed to tell real stories, but they also reflect what we normally say — and provide insight into all the things we don’t. It’s rare to see this done accurately, but this surreal movie leaving Netflix soon does it perfectly with some truly unnerving results. Here’s why you should check it out before it’s too late.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a 2017 psychological thriller directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. Much like Lanthimos’ masterpiece The Lobster, this horror film stars Colin Farrell as a seemingly normal man who finds himself in a situation that slowly gets more intense until he does something he could never imagine himself doing.
In Sacred Deer, Farrell plays Steven Murphy, a cardiological surgeon who lives with his wife Anna (Nicole Kidman) and their children Kim (Raffey Cassidy) and Bob (Sunny Suljic). But outside his idyllic family life, Steven has a secret friendship with Martin Lang (a pre-Druig, pre-Joker Barry Keoghan).
Martin, the son of one of Steven’s patients, puts the entire Murphy family on edge. Anna sees him as a nice boy, Kim looks like she’s developing a crush, and Bob envies how much hair he has under his arms. But after meeting his family, things start to go wrong. Steven’s entire family starts to become sick, and the only explanation is a truly unbelievable one from Martin.
Lanthimos’ unique direction shines through the natural dialogue. Every character in his world says exactly what is on their minds, whether it’s about watchbands or menstrual periods. One of the most powerful monologues in the entire film isn’t about death or loss but spaghetti.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer also deals with the classic language of a horror film. Gradually, the slightly uneasy drama tips into a no-holds-barred psychological horror as the Greek tragedy that is Steven’s life goes from bad to worse. It exhibits some medical trauma that looks straight out of a slasher.
One of the greatest things about The Killing of a Sacred Deer — and all Yorgos Lanthimos movies — is that the characters rarely react the way a normal human would react. You’d think that would take away from your enjoyment of the movie, but it brings a strange sense of humor to the entire premise. Nobody acts the way they would in real life, but nothing happens the way it would in reality either.
If you’re looking for a truly surreal movie, you will find that Sacred Deer will make you question all you know about how movies work, while still crafting a compelling story. Catch it on Netflix this weekend before it leaves the streaming platform.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer is streaming on Netflix until April 4.