Full Review: THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER (UK/Ireland 2017) ****

Steven, a charismatic surgeon, is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice after his life starts to fall apart, when the behavior of a teenage boy he has taken under his wing turns sinister.

Director:

Yorgos Lanthimos

 

Greek director (DOGTOOTH and THE LOBSTER) Yourgos Lanthimos’ latest feature is a supernatural psychological thriller that is the most difficult to watch despite its bouts of black humour.  The reason the film is titled THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER becomes apparent at the film’s end and exposing the reason would spoilt the film’s key plot point.

The film follows Dr. Steven Murphy (Farrell), a cardiac surgeon who is first seen at a diner meeting with a 16-year-old named Martin (Barry Keoghan).  The doctor buys the boy an expensive watch as a present.  The relationship between the two is revealed as the film goes on.  Steven introduces Martin to his wife (Nicole Kidman) and two children.  Martin, determined to ingratiate himself into this unfamiliar new family, becomes something like an adopted son.  Strange things begin to happen with the children developing paralysis right out of the blue.  Dr. Murphy and his team of surgeons are unable to put a medical explanation for the illnesses.

Secrets start coming out of the closet.  Director Lanthimos unveils bits at a time, thus keeping the audience in anticipation.  Revealing more of the plot in this review will definitely spoil ones enjoyment of the film, and thus no more of the story will be revealed.

It is safe to say that the film gets more and more serious and ends up becoming quite a disturbing watch.  Lanthimos does not skimp on the violence and language.  The film has a lot of anger and the anger is slowly but surely unleashed by every one in the part concerned.

The humour often comes in the form of inconsequential dialogue, often spoken by the main character, Dr. Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell).  Hunour is also provided in the way drain information, is relayed to the audience.  For example, Steven tells his colleague out of the blue for no reason, that his daughter has begun her menstruation.

The sex scene between husband and wife is as expected a strange one, but sufficiently erotic.  Kidman has an almost perfect body.  Farrell, Kidman and Keoghan all deliver chilling performances.

The film demands the audience sit back and immerse themselves in the environment of horror.  The film is clear a horror film with scary results that resulted in quite a few of the audience at the screening walking out.

The film uses quite a bit of choral music wit a scene of a scene of the daughter singing in the choir.  Sound is also used effectively as when Steven takes off his wife’s panties, like the snapping sound of him taking off his surgical gloves.

The film contains some very scary scenes.  These include the ones with the son and daughter both paralyzed from the waste down, dragging their bodies around the house, up and down the stairs using their arms.  There is also an almost unwatchable scene of Russian Roulette

THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER is a well executed psychological and emotional horror film.  Not for everyone!

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOxiMR6aL74

TIFF 2017 Movie Review: THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER (UK/Ireland 2017) ***1/2

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer Poster
Steven, a charismatic surgeon, is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice after his life starts to fall apart, when the behavior of a teenage boy he has taken under his wing turns sinister.

Director:

Yorgos Lanthimos

Stars:

Nicole KidmanAlicia SilverstoneColin Farrell
 

Greek director (DOGTOOTH and THE LOBSTER) Yourgos Lanthimos’s latest feature is a supernatural psychological thriller that is the most difficult to watch despite its bouts of black humour.

The film follows Dr. Steven Murphy (Farrell), a cardiac surgeon who is first seen at a diner meeting with a 16-year-old named Martin (Barry Keoghan).

The doctor buys the boy an expensive watch as a present. The relationship between the two is revealed as the film goes on. Steven introduces Martin to his wife (Nicole Kidman) and two children. Martin, determined to ingratiate himself into this unfamiliar new family, becomes something like an adopted son. Strange things begin to happen with the children developing paralysis right out of the blue.

Secrets start coming out of the closet. Director Lanthimos unveils bits at a time, thus keeping the audience in anticipation. It is safe to say that the film gets more and more serious and ends up becoming quite a disturbing watch. Lanthimos does not skimp on the violence and language.

The film has a lot of anger and the anger is slowly but surely unleashed by every one in the party concerned. THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER is a well executed psychological and emotional horror film but not for everyone!

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQFdGfwChtw

THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER

 

Film Review: DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL (USA 2017) ****

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

diaryofawimpykid_2A Heffley family road trip to attend Meemaw’s 90th birthday party goes hilariously off course thanks to Greg’s newest scheme to get to a video gaming convention.

Director: David Bowers
Writers: Jeff Kinney (screenplay), David Bowers (screenplay)
Stars: Alicia Silverstone, Tom Everett Scott, Charlie Wright

Review by Gilbert Seah 

Few things that need to be known before watching the new Wimpy Kid film, the 4th instalment of the series! The new film is a family road comedy film based on the book (the 9th) of the same name by Jeff Kinney. It is intended to be a sequel to 2012’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. The original cast and crew members from the first three films will not be reprising their roles, making this the first film to feature an entirely new cast for the reason that the originators have all grown too old for their parts.

Jason Drucker is winning in his role of the wimpy kid, Greg Heffler, taking over from from Zachary Gordon. Charlie Wright who plays his elder brother is even funnier than Devon Bostick. Alicia Silverstone who plays mother is now grown up from her teen films like CLUELESS.

What is rarely seen in films with a loose narrative like this one are the many instances in which slight gags are not only tied into the story but re-appear again at different parts of the film. The piglet that is won at the country fair, is seen again doing ‘poopie’ later in the car and re-appears once again at the reunion with the family. The wronged ‘beardo’ (the wimpy kid’s term for the weirdo with the beard) appears half a dozen times in the film. The mother’s favourite song is sung once again at the end of the film. The diaper hands joke at the start of the film also has significance at the end of the film.

The incidents occurring in the film are not totally identical to the book by Jeff Kinney, but have been modified for the big screen. The deviations work very well.

There is also much to appreciate in this apparently commercial family film. The camera work in one segment is nothing short of amazing. The 5-minute hilarious sequence shot in the cramped space of a car where the audience is treated to a piglet poop, a runaway piglet, a spit-out pacifier and other family antics is indicative that enormous talent is also necessary to make a comedy like this one.

Two hilarious sequences pay homage to Hitchcock films THE BIRDS and PSYCHO. In the one scene, seagulls attack the family car with that segment ending with a seagull literally thrown at actor Drucker just as Hitchcock threw a bird at his star Tippi Hedren. The PSYCHO shower scene is extremely well done complete with chocolate syrup running down the tub hole and the shower curtain ripped off the railing and even funnier than the similar scene in Mel Brooks’ HIGH ANXIETY.

This latest WIMPY KID outing proves that with a good script and direction, perfect comedic timing and winning performances, a film can be thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable for the target family audience and beyond. It turns out that this film is 100 times funnier than the other Fox comedy, SNATCHED released two weeks back.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7PLDbPPL7w

_________

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Happy Birthday: Alicia Silverstone

aliciasilverstoneAlicia Silverstone

Born: October 4, 1976 in San Francisco, California, USA

Married to:
Christopher Jarecki (11 June 2005 – present) (1 child)

[on Clueless (1995)] Cher Horowitz knows she’s the most beautiful, most obviously important person in the world – her world – yet she doesn’t really know about the rest of the world. She evolves in the film and sees there’s more to life than her wardrobe. Cher eventually realizes she’s beautiful because of who she is inside, not because of her appearance.

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