Blu-ray Review Drama

'The Killing of a Sacred Deer' Blu-ray Review: Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell go from beguiled to beleaguered, in this moody tale of suspense

January 30, 2018Ben MK

The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a film designed to make viewers uncomfortable. Everything from the eerie score, to the lingering cinematography, to the way the actors deliver their lines in the most unnatural way possible — it all makes for a cinematic experience that can best be described as... unsettling.

In Yorgos Lanthimos' followup to his 2015 movie, The Lobster, the director re-teams with Colin Farrell, who plays Steven Murphy, a surgeon who befriends Martin Lang (Barry Keoghan), the 16-year-old son of a deceased patient. Things take a turn for the weird, however, when Steven's youngest, Bob (Sunny Suljic), suddenly falls ill and becomes inexplicable paralyzed. And it gets even weirder when Martin issues an ultimatum to Steven, seemingly implying that he's somehow responsible for Bob's condition, and that if Steven doesn't acquiesce to Martin’s demands, then Bob's fate is as good as sealed.

Soon Steven must make an unimaginable decision — either commit the unthinkable or risk losing his daughter, Kim (Raffey Cassidy), and his wife, Anna (Nicole Kidman), to the same disturbing affliction. But is there a logical explanation to what is happening? Could it be some kind of psychosomatic condition? And what about Martin — if science can't deduce the culprit, then what does that make him? A practitioner of dark magic? Some sort of supernatural being? Is he even human, or is he just twisted?

Suffice to say, Lanthimos and his co-writer, Efthymis Filippou, doesn't provide the answers to any of these questions. So if you're expecting The Killing of a Sacred Deer to come to a conventional resolution, don't hold your breath. Otherwise, if you appreciate movies that are heavy on mood and dripping with atmosphere, you're in for a treat.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer debuts on Blu-ray with a fantastically filmic 1080p transfer that leaves little to be desired. Fine detail is in abundance, whether it's the freckles on Kidman and Cassidy, the salt and pepper hairs of Farrell's beard, or the closeups of a patient's organs as they lie motionless on the operating table, and color saturation levels smoothly handle the shift between the warm tones of the Murphy home and the cold and clinical hues of the hospital where Steven works. As for the sound design, it's primarily dialogue-driven, punctuated solely by eerie and ominous musical cues and atmospherics like birds chirping or the sizzle of fish being grilled on a barbecue, and there's no fault to be found with the disc's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix.

Elevation Pictures' single-disc Blu-ray release includes an iTunes digital copy. However, there are no special features on the disc.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer is available from Elevation Pictures as of January 23rd, 2018. The Blu-ray features English and French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks and English SDH subtitles. The total runtime is 2 hrs. 1 min.

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