Film Review: The Lighthouse

09:02 October 31, 2019
By: David Vicari

The Lighthouse is the follow up film from Robert Eggers, director of 2015's The Witch, and it is an acquired taste. This is a horror film, but not a conventional one. It is psychological terror and deeply unsettling. And if you ever wanted to see Willem Dafoe or Robert Pattinson masturbate on film, by all means run, don't walk, to your nearest movie house.

Set on a remote New England island in the 1890s, two strangers, Thomas Wake (Dafoe) and Ephraim Winslow (Pattinson), begin their job as lighthouse keepers. They don't much like each other and the hostility between them grows as the rainy days drag on. Also driving Winslow to the edge are the bothersome seagulls. Anyway, this whole situation doesn't end well.

Eggers evokes German Expressionism by shooting The Lighthouse in black and white and in the square aspect ratio of 1.19:1. This tight aspect ratio also gives off a claustrophobic feel, and the black and white photography enhances the feeling of dread.

While the movie does ramble a bit here and there, the two performances are great and keep it going. This is essentially a two man play.

The Lighthouse is a haunting tale that would be told on a beach at night next to a campfire. The film, itself, is creepy and hallucinatory and will stay with you for a while.

★★★ stars (out of four)

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