The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Year Released: 2017
Rating: 2.0

Heart surgeon Steven (Colin Farrell), who lives with his ophthalmologist wife Anna (Nicole Kidman) and their two children, gets repeat visits from a strange teen named Martin (Barry Keoghan) - as it turns out, Martin blames Steven for killing his father on the operating table and tells him that he's cursed, and that all his family members will become paralyzed, stop eating and die unless he sacrifices one of them. I like how Lanthimos gets his performers to do deadpan line readings and ramps up the awkwardness almost every scene - the bedroom scenes with Farrell and Kidman as well as Keoghan and Raffey Cassidy, as Farrell's daughter, are cringe-inducing ... as is Alicia Silverstone's finger-sucking - but that off-beat black humor turns into outright cruelty as it progresses: Farrell's not immoral (he made a mistake), and neither he nor his brood deserve what becomes of them. What this amount to, then, is a kind of attack by a filmmaker on the audience: absurdism that morphs into nihilism. You should never go Full Haneke.