It’s not often that a movie comes together just as all of its components are peaking and/or experiencing career renaissances. But that’s exactly what’s happening with The Killing of a Sacred Deer, the fifth feature film from the eccentrically disturbing director Yorgos Lanthimos.
Lanthimos himself is coming off The Lobster, a beautiful, haunting dark comedy about love that was one of the surprise hits of 2016. Colin Farrell, after starring in The Lobster, is joining Lanthimos once again for Sacred Deer, and from the looks of the trailer, continuing his streak of playing forlorn middle-aged men (I couldn’t be more excited about this); Nicole Kidman may be hotter than Farrell and Lanthimos combined after Big Little Lies, and she’s here playing Farrell’s wife; cinematographer Thimios Bakatakis (The Lobster) shot this movie; Johnnie Burn (Under the Skin) did the sound design; and to round out the crew is Barry Keoghan, who you probably know better as the very good boy who died tragically by … hitting his head (right? I still don’t know) in Dunkirk.
In The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Keoghan will not be playing a fatalistic, baby-faced Brit in a sweater vest; his character is an American teen with a sinister streak who tries to bring his father’s surgeon (Farrell) into his dysfunctional family, which in turn creates turmoil in the surgeon’s home life. It reaches back into Greek tragedy (the myth of Iphigenia, specifically) for its inspiration. That’s all I care to know about the movie heading in. What’s more important is the film’s pedigree, and the early reviews out of Cannes that describe it as “glacial” and “insidious.” Lanthimos’s movies are breathtakingly picturesque, meticulously weird, and cold, so much so that their mere existence becomes unnerving. As he explores basic human emotion and tackles the foundations of society—family, government, and patriarchy—his movies wear you down. The Killing of a Sacred Deer looks to be more of the same.
Also? Alicia Silverstone is in one scene of this movie, reportedly using a heavy-handed sexual innuendo about dessert tart. You know you want to see whatever-the-fuck this movie is, and you can on November 3.