The Killing of a Sacred Deer: Exploring the Ending, Release Date, Cast, and More

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

“The Killing of a Sacred Deer” is a 2017 psychological horror thriller directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, featuring Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan, and others. Inspired by the Greek tragedy “Iphigenia in Aulis,” the film follows a cardiac surgeon who introduces his family to a mysterious teenage boy, triggering unexplained illnesses within the family. Competing for the Palme d’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, it had a theatrical release in the US on October 20, 2017, and in the UK and Ireland on November 3. Garnering positive critical reception, the film earned $10 million globally. With its unsettling narrative and stellar cast, the movie explores psychological horror, mythology, and the consequences of past actions.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer Plot

After performing open-heart surgery, Steven Murphy befriends Martin Lang, but the seemingly innocent friendship takes a dark turn when Martin demands a horrific choice to balance his father’s death caused by Steven’s mistake. As Steven’s family succumbs to mysterious illnesses, Martin reveals his supernatural power. Despite Steven’s attempts to defy fate, he kidnaps Martin in desperation. The harrowing climax sees Steven making a gruesome choice, leading to the death of his son, Bob. In the aftermath, Martin encounters the Murphys at a diner, symbolizing the irreversible impact of his revenge. The film explores guilt, justice, and the disturbing consequences of one man’s actions on his family.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer Ending Explained

“The Killing of a Sacred Deer” ending centers on heart surgeon Steven, faced with an impossible choice presented by Martin, the son of a deceased patient. The title, inspired by a Greek myth, hints at themes of guilt and retribution. In the finale, Martin forces Steven to choose a family member for a sacrificial death or face their agonizing illnesses. Desperate, Steven blindfolds himself, fires a rifle randomly, resulting in his son Bob’s death. The family, marked with guilt, is seen later with bags over their heads. The film’s strangeness and unique dialogue contribute to its psychological horror. Director Yorgos Lanthimos explains the movie explores revenge, justice, and power dynamics, emphasizing ambiguity for emotional impact. While praised by critics, some audiences find its unconventional style too weird. The ending, rooted in Greek mythology, echoes questions of guilt and the consequences of evading responsibility.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer Cast

Actor Character

Colin Farrell Steven Murphy

Nicole Kidman Anna Murphy

Barry Keoghan Martin Lang

Raffey Cassidy Kimberly “Kim” Murphy

Sunny Suljic Robert “Bob” Murphy

Alicia Silverstone Martin’s Mother

Bill Camp Matthew Williams

Barry Bernson Dr. Larry Banks

Barry Bernson Dr. Larry Banks

Herb Caillouet Ed Thompson (Hospital Director)

Denise Dal Vera Mary Williams

Drew Logan Principal

Michael Trester Elderly Man

Ming Wang Doctor (Abdominal)

The Killing of a Sacred Deer Release Date

A24 premiered ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’ in the United States on October 20, 2017, and it saw subsequent releases in the United Kingdom and Ireland by Curzon Artificial Eye on November 3 of the same year. The film received mostly positive reviews for its unconventional narrative and exploration of themes such as revenge and guilt. Its unique style, coupled with director Yorgos Lanthimos’ distinct storytelling, contributed to its critical acclaim. Despite its non-traditional approach, the film achieved commercial success, grossing $10 million worldwide. Overall, ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’ made its mark as a thought-provoking and unsettling addition to the psychological horror genre.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer Summary

“The Killing of a Sacred Deer” unfolds as a clear and direct narrative, with characters explicitly stating forthcoming events that transpire without delving into the mechanics of the antagonist’s actions. The film follows Steven Murphy, a heart surgeon, whose life takes a dark turn when a teenage boy, Martin Lang, demands a horrifying choice to balance his father’s death caused by Steven’s mistake. As Steven’s family succumbs to mysterious illnesses, the film explores cosmic punishment, fate, and the consequences of human hubris, drawing inspiration from the Greek tragedy “Iphigenia in Aulis.” The story deliberately avoids explaining the supernatural aspects of Martin’s powers, focusing instead on the characters’ grappling with questions of why these events are happening and accepting the inevitability of fate. The film culminates in a chilling conclusion where Steven makes a gruesome choice, symbolizing the irreversible impact of revenge and the consequences of one’s actions.

Where to Watch The Killing of a Sacred Deer?

“The Killing of a Sacred Deer” is currently available for streaming on the Curzon Amazon Channel. If you prefer to own the movie, it can be purchased for download on Apple TV, Amazon Video, Sky Store, Chili, Google Play Movies, YouTube, and Rakuten TV. Additionally, renting options are offered through Amazon Video, Chili, Apple TV, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Curzon Home Cinema, and Rakuten TV. This diverse range of platforms ensures that viewers have the flexibility to choose their preferred method of watching, whether through streaming services or purchasing for download or rental, making the film easily accessible to a wide audience.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer FAQ

1. Is “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” a horror movie?

Yes, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” is categorized as a psychological horror thriller.

2. What inspired “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”?

The film draws inspiration from the Greek tragedy “Iphigenia in Aulis.”

3. What is the significance of the film’s title?

The title is inspired by a Greek myth and hints at themes of guilt and retribution.

4. What themes does the film explore?

The film delves into themes of revenge, justice, power dynamics, ambiguity, guilt, and the consequences of evading responsibility.

5. What was the global box office performance of “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”?

The film earned $10 million globally.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer Conclusion

“The Killing of a Sacred Deer” stands as a remarkable addition to the psychological horror genre, offering a thought-provoking and unsettling exploration of themes such as guilt, justice, and the consequences of past actions. The film’s unique narrative style, coupled with its stellar cast and director Yorgos Lanthimos’ distinct storytelling, contributed to its critical acclaim and commercial success. Its availability on multiple streaming and rental platforms ensures accessibility for a wide audience, inviting viewers to experience its psychological depth and gripping storytelling.

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