Two things to note right here at the beginning. One: No, there are no deer in this movie. Two: If everybody who reads this review were to watch the movie, at least half of you—at least—are going to hate it. This is an odd movie and it moves slowly. That being said, those aren’t weaknesses, just “quirks.” If you’re the type who can get past such things, this flick is as good as it gets. The dialogue is brilliant in its quirkiness, the acting (except for Alicia Silverstone) exquisite (also in its quirkiness) and cinematography at one time beautiful and off-putting.
THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER is based on the tragedy of IPHIGENIA AT AULIS by Euripides, written some 400 years BC, and it involves a curse. That’s for sure no spoiler warning to anyone who is familiar with Greek Tragedy. Most of the Tragedies involved curses. In this case, a surgeon bungles an operation and his patient dies. To set right the “balance,” he must kill a member of his own family. As he procrastinates, his children begin to succumb to a strange wasting illness without cause or cure. This is highbrow stuff and, as I said, not everybody is gonna like it, but that has nothing to do with the quality of the production, which is of the highest caliber (except for Alicia Silverstone).