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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Jeff’s Top 13 Horror Films of 2017: #5

The Killing of a Sacred Deer 

Dr. Steven Murphy is a renowned cardiovascular surgeon who presides over a spotless household with his wife and two children. Lurking at the margins of his idyllic suburban existence is Martin, a fatherless teen who insinuates himself into the doctor's life in gradually unsettling ways. Soon, the full scope of Martin's intent becomes menacingly clear when he confronts Steven with a long-forgotten transgression that will shatter his domestic bliss forever.

Every so often there comes along a movie that provides such a poignant and profound impression that once it is over you can tell yourself that not only is it one of the best films you’ve ever seen, you are fulfilled and definitely don’t need to see it again. Fortunately, and unfortunately, The Killing of a Sacred Deer is one of those films. From the start, we are drawn into a confusing world where sinister intentions, vengeance, and awkward interactions dominate every scene. We’re not sure what the relationship between Dr. Murphy and Martin entails and find ourselves uncomfortable as Martin continually invades not just the Doctor’s life but our own. As Martin’s true intentions are revealed it is hard to distinguish between supernatural intervention, brainwashing, and coincidence. During the mental breakdown of the characters, it will continue to make you feel uncomfortable as you realize the director has purposefully put you in a voyeur position that feels more wrong. Keoghan’s performance is Oscar-worthy. Farrell and Kidman are perfectly awkward. The film is a piece of disturbing art that forces you to make moral decisions that, no matter the outcome, will damn you to hell.