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The Killing of a Sacred Deer Movie Poster

Trivia for The Killing of a Sacred Deer

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  • Second collaboration between Yorgos Lanthimos and Colin Farrell, the first being The Lobster (2015).
  • Acting for the first time in his 67 years, Cincinnati native Michael Trester plays the Elderly Man in a scene with Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman and Bill Camp at a medical convention banquet.
  • Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell began working together on The Beguiled (2017), only a few weeks later they wrapped filming on this film. Both films would go on to be in competition for the Palme d'Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, and both would win awards in the official competition ("The Beguiled" won the Directing award for Sofia Coppola while "The Killing of a Sacred Deer" shared the Screenplay award with Lynne Ramsay's You Were Never Really Here (2017)).
  • Colin Farrell admittedly felt nauseous after reading the script for the film.
  • The film's title comes from the ending of the tragedy Iphigenia in Aulis by Euripides.
  • Heart surgery scenes in the film are real. They were filmed during an operation on a real patient who was undergoing quadruple bypass surgery which Colin Farrell attended.
  • Sunny Suljic (Bob) is the only member of the Murphy family who is American in real life. Colin Farrell (Steven) and Barry Keoghan (Martin) are Irish, Nicole Kidman (Anna) is Australian, and Raffey Cassidy (Kim) is English.
  • When Steven is at the school for the parent teacher conference, the principal tells him that Kim wrote a paper on Iphigenia for which she got an A, and that was read aloud to the class. Iphigenia, in Greek mythology, is the daughter of Agamemnon -- she who was to be sacrificed for the sins of her father.
  • Though their characters are two years apart, Raffey Cassidy (Kim) is ten years younger than Barry Keoghan (Martin).
  • During the first diner scene with Steven and Martin, a deer is visible on the wallpaper.
  • The school principal says that Kim wrote an excellent report on the myth of Iphigenia. The story of Iphigenia is the basis for this film.
  • The design of many scenes in the film seem to be draught out of Edward Hopper's painting.
  • Bob is the only principal character played by an American, despite the movie taking place in Ohio. Colin Farrell and Barry Keoghan are Irish, Nicole Kidman is Australian, and Raffey Cassidy is British.


  • A shot panning in towards Bob, just as he begins to get sick, displays a photo of a deer above his head, foreshadowing the ending of the film.
  • The title is a reference to Greek mythology: after Agamemnon killed a deer belonging to Artemis, the goddess made him atone by sacrificing his daughter Iphigenia.
  • Bob is the only member of the Murphy family that doesn't smoke a cigarette during the film. Furthermore, when Martin asks if he can light a cigarette in Kim's room, Bob responds with "You'd better not."
  • Steven tells Kim he doesn't want her riding on motorcycles without a helmet. Kim is later seen on the back of Martin's motorcycle without a helmet.
  • Martin's favorite movie is Groundhog Day (1993), which is famous for not explaining how the lead character ends up in a time loop, much like this film never explains how Martin sickens Steven's family.
  • When Kim is attempting to seduce Martin, she takes off her clothes and lies motionless on the bed, mirroring her mother's sexual behavior towards her father.
  • The film's title refers to the Greek myth of Iphigenia. Her father Agamemnon had killed one of Artemis' sacred deer, and was forced to sacrifice his own daughter to appease the goddess, who was causing various misfortunes to prevent the Greek army from sailing to Troy. Similarly, Steven Murphy is forced to kill a member of his own family to appease Martin after causing the death of his father.
  • When Steven visits the school, the principal informs him how Kim received an A+ for her essay on the Tragedy of Ipheginia. This film draws influences and story elements from the same tragedy.
  • Body Count: 2.
  • Martin's favorite movie is Groundhog Day (1993) in there, the protagonist tried in vain, a lot of times, to save the life of an elderly man. Finally he accepted the fate of that man. In a similar way to the resignation about the family's fate of the protagonist in this movie.
  • The restaurant where they meet throughout the movie is the "Blue Jay restaurant". In American folklore the blue jay was considered a servant of the devil. In the meeting at school a cross is seen upside down on a piece of paper. The inverted cross is often used as a symbol of the devil.
  • In the meeting at school where Colin Farrell asks which one of his children is the best, a sign facing him on the desk can been seen saying "Do the right thing".
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