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Movies & TV

27th Dec 2017

The Top Ten Movies of 2017 – #05 – The Killing Of A Sacred Deer

Rory Cashin

“This is the only thing I can think of that is close to justice.”

Welcome to JOE’s countdown of the Ten Best Movies of 2017. We’ll be counting them down one-by-one, with the #1 spot revealed on New Year’s Eve.

The #05 spot goes to… THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER

Irish Release Date: 3 November

Cast: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan, Alicia Silverstone.

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Budget: N/A

Worldwide Box Office: $4.1 million

Colin Farrell is a bit of a weirdo.

Actually, let us rephrase that.

Colin Farrell is at his best when he is a bit of a weirdo.

After Hollywood tried to box him into “Blockbuster Hunk” a few years back – think of S.W.A.T., The Recruit, that shoddy Total Recall remake, Miami Vice – he finally found his calling playing someone who was, well, a bit of a weirdo.

In Bruges, Horrible Bosses, Fright Night and Seven Psychopaths were all Farrell at his very best, and culminated with his unique performance in The Lobster. Giving what many believed the best work of his career to date, he reunited with that movies writer/director, and unfortunately for us, Sacred Deer made about four times less than The Lobster did at the box office.

Which is real shame, because Sacred Deer is about ten times better than that movie, while also being so divisive it could just as easily end up on as many people’s Worst Of 2017 movie lists…

The problem, and the outstanding highlight, of The Killing Of A Sacred Deer is that there is no correct reaction to watching it. Your emotions will burst out of you, unchecked, as you laugh at the most horrid situations, and cover your mouth with your hand in horror when the film is actually trying to be funny…

Farrell plays the tortured husband (to Nicole Kidman) and father (to two brilliant up-and-comers), who finds himself at the tail-end of Barry Keoghan’s psychological warfare on him and his family. Quite why Keoghan is taking aim is barely the plot of the movie, instead we’re focused on Farrell’s reaction to the plights against him and his family, and the photo-finish between his selflessness to keep his wife and kids alive, and the selfishness of being blamed for any of it.

It is a horror film in every way, except it is also the darkest of dark comedies you have EVER seen. Farrell, Kidman and Keoghan deliver a trio of blindingly brilliant performances, all ever-so-slightly not reacting to the world the way normal people do, acting out on a level of reality that is like ours, but not quite ours, causing us to be constantly on the back-foot when it comes to trying to guess where they will take the plot next.

If you’re looking for something completely fucked up and out of your comfort zone… well, there will be another entry even more uncomfortably fucked up than this on the list to come… but this is a good place to start.

We go into more detail as to why the movie is such a tough watch right here.

For further reading on our end of year list, check out the following:

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge