It’s being compared to the classic film “the Shining.” It’s clearly weird like this director’s other recent film, “The Lobster.” Yorgos Lanthimos directed this and co-wrote it as well. His skills at suspense are right up front but sadly the story is best understood only as metaphor.
The film begins as literally the most antiseptic film you can imagine. We find out that Steven is a charismatic surgeon who is of late quite devoid of animated life. He’s lost his drive with his wife and his kids seem bored with him. What’s most curious is the odd teenage boy who seems to keep showing up at the hospital while Steven is making his rounds. There’s something not right about it. Spoliers may follow!
I wondered if Steven had made an error in a surgery and the boy was bringing that to light. He feels like a fly in the ointment. At this point it really starts to feel like “Cape Fear.” You have the boy as the stalker impinging on Steven’s family. He might as well call Steven “counselor.” That’s a comparison to a real world imagination. This film goes a few layers down into the metaphorical and to be honest, I’m not exactly sure what the metaphors are. The best I can come up with at the moment is that Steven can’t admit his mistakes and reckon with them. He also seems unable to ever ask for help. On that level I can relate. It’s hard to accept one is fallible and accept the consequences of ones actions, and it MUST be done or things, well, things die.
There is a lot to talk about here but I would have liked a little more explained to me. The director leaves too much up to the imagination. All in all, I like films like this (just when I get them more) so I give it a 7/10.