Finally got the chance to see this via Amazon. Dogtooth and The Lobster (from the same Greek director, who I must admit has a keen sense of storytelling) did not impress me at all. Very interesting ideas; atrocious presentations. Dogtooth was indecipherable and The Lobster is cruel, ugly, and not humorous in any fashion (I've no idea why it's billed as a black comedy.) However, this latest film is entertaining to me despite it's grim and inky-black nature (based on the ancient Greek play, which is where the title is loosely derived from.) Perhaps it's a bit more straight-forward despite its cryptic nature, a bit more involved in some form of reality we can recognize and less inference as to what the hey is really happening. But I sure watched it w/ more interest than The Lobster (I've no interest in the director's film prior to that one.) A successful heart surgeon (w/ a past history of alcoholism, sober for some time at present) is shown to have an uneasy alliance w/ the teenaged son of a patient who died on the operating table. It's clear the boy has some hold over this surgeon, who seems eager to please him but his heart's not into it (no pun intended.) The boy's true intentions are revealed as events move forward; the surgeon's wife and two children (a few years apart, both intelligent in their own ways) are placed in grave danger as well as dear old Dad, and to reveal just how would spoil it for first-time viewers. The camera-work here is impeccable, as are the jarring soundscapes, found-sounds, and industrial noise which makes for harrowing listening. The actor playing Martin, the teenaged oddball w/ a shared secret, is riveting to watch in a well-suited role. Sacred Deer isn't so much a horror-film as a drama w/ strong elements of dream-like reality, awkward young romance, and assorted chills and cold calculated sex-scenes involving "playing dead" and "the other." My biggest complaints would be as before w/ this director's work: everyone speaks their lines as if hearing them through an ear-piece to parrot back, which makes the cast seem rather stilted and robotic. This director favors a weird tangent of "Mamet-speak." The ending is about what you'd expect, following the matter-of-fact discussions which precede it. Up until that point Sacred Deer does a pretty good job keeping us wondering what will happen next, where will things lead, what is that kid's gift and whereupon was it bestowed; unfortunately the outcome isn't as entrancing or unexpected as I'd hoped. But overall worth my time to watch. Considering how disappointed I was by the previous films by the director I'd watched (great reviews, all of which confounded and puzzled me) this film was much less of a bore and a chore to watch. A pleasant, unpleasant surprise indeed.
Three Point Capital
2 hr 01 mins