If you are like me you’ve come close to exhausting your entertainment options why sheltering at home. That is where we come in to help. Upstream is a series of reviews on what is available to watch on all the various media services.
“The Killing of a Sacred Deer” was certainly a bit of a surprise. Even with a vague description I decided to give it a chance. I will try to convey my overall feeling on the film, but it is safe to say this will be a very polarizing movie and it is best you give it a try yourself and see what you think. I do want to preface this review with two things, this film is graphic in parts (sometimes completely without warning) and may have some random triggers for more sensitive viewers. The second thing is, as always, we will try to keep this review as spoiler free as possible so you can enjoy the experience fresh.
This is a story of an affluent family headed by two doctors. Colin Farrell (Daredevil, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) plays Dr. Steven Murphy who is married to Anna played by Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge!, Batman Forever). This film caught me off guard at first, the staccato delivery of all the dialog left me wondering why the assembled such a talented cast. It wasn’t until half way though the movie that I understood that was all part of how they wanted to tell this bleak story. That is also part of how unsettling this movie is, you have no idea which way it is going, I was even surprised that this was actually a horror film (I use that term loosely) because it took a dark turn so abruptly I was unprepared. Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk, Rebellion) had an exceptionally difficult role playing the socially inept Martin who was befriended by Steven. With everyone in the film playing essentially deadpan emotionless characters, conveying that Martin was still one step removed from acceptable behavior was a difficult task. I very much look forward to seeing him in his two upcoming projects, The Eternals and Y: The Last Man. The story itself I will leave for you to watch unfold, I think the less you know the better so the film can take you on the intended journey. Long story short, Steven and Anna are forced into an impossible decision. How they react and ultimately solve that conundrum is what makes this a true horror movie. It is suffice to say that all the performances were exceptional and if you are a fan of dark psychological studies, this film will be worth watching. Be prepared for several graphic scenes (in a variety of ways).