Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos gained notoriety in the States when his Dogtooth earned an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in 2011. It told the bleak tale of three teenagers confined to their over-protective parents’ house, where they are taught inaccurate vocabulary words and told that they can only leave the property “when their dogtooth falls out”. Somehow it’s even weirder than it sounds, but the film’s nihilistic ending has stuck with me since watching it a few years back, and the director shows no interest in lightening up with his newest effort, The Killing of a Sacred Deer.
Released by indie powerhouse A24 in October, it follows Colin Farrell as a surgeon and Barry Keoghan as the son of a man who died while being operated on by him. The son, seeking revenge, offers Farrell the ultimatum of choosing which of his three family members gets to die… all delivered with Lanthimos’ signature dark humor to wash it down, of course.
Such subject matter is prone to controversy, but the film earned a pretty decent 79% on Rotten Tomatoes, and as The Playlist’s Jessica Kiang wrote, “it was garlanded with boos at its Cannes press screening and it is absolutely f*cking brilliant.” And lucky for us lovers of all things dark and demented, we can enjoy the emotional carnage from the comfort of our own homes come January. The film also stars Nicole Kidman as Farrell’s wife, and Alicia Silverstone as the devious boy’s mother. Official synopsis is as follows:
Dr. Steven Murphy (Farrell) is a renowned cardiovascular surgeon presiding over a spotless household with his ophthalmologist wife, Anna (Kidman), and their two exemplary children, 12-year-old Bob (Sunny Suljic) and 14-year-old Kim (Raffey Cassidy). Lurking at the margins of Steven’s idyllic suburban existence is Martin (Barry Keoghan), a fatherless teen he has covertly taken under his wing. As Martin begins insinuating himself into the family’s life in ever-more unsettling displays, the full scope of his intent becomes menacingly clear when he confronts Steven with a long-forgotten transgression that will shatter the Murphy family’s domestic bliss.
The disc’s sole special feature is a behind-the-scenes featurette titled “An Impossible Conundrum” and will be released on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital platforms January 23, 2018. Check out the Blu-ray cover art, and the disturbing trailer, below.