With 2015’s The Lobster, Greek weirdo auteur Yorgos Lanthimos achieved a surprising level of mainstream success in the States, given his film was about a dystopian alternate reality where people are turned into animals if they fail to find a mate in 45 days. But whereas that film was a darkly comic drama, bordering on a romance, his new film looks to return him to much bleaker territory. All of his films have possessed an element of the inexplicable, but The Killing Of A Sacred Deer might be the first time he’s put his gift for fusing the pedestrian and the otherworldly to deliberately sinister ends.
The movie finds Lanthimos re-teaming with his Lobster star Colin Farrell, with the Irish actor playing a surgeon with a seemingly placid domestic life, married to Nicole Kidman’s searching mother and raising two kids. But his world begins to unravel after a teenage boy begins to appear, disrupting his tranquil existence. We don’t want to say anything more—and frankly, the trailer makes it difficult to intuit much, save for some mysterious affliction that seems to render people immobile—but our film critic A.A. Dowd caught the film at Cannes this year and praised it, saying Lanthimos “brings a thunderous, quaking dread to every square inch” of his latest project, like a “twisted slow-burn Cape Fear.” Needless to say, we’ll be there opening weekend. The Killing Of A Sacred Deer comes out October 27.