Lighthouse Review

A gray, sickly sea dominates the screen – the sound of an engine fills your ears as a steamboat’s silhouette bobs into the scene. The camera turns to a shot from behind two men facing a desolate, rocky island. In the distance, the lighthouse comes into view. 

“The Lighthouse” is directed by acclaimed director and screenwriter Robert Eggers, who directed the horror film “The Witch.” “The Lighthouse” shows the day-to-day life of two isolated lighthouse keepers: Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson) and Tommy Wake (Willem Dafoe), and the traumatic events that drive them into insanity. 

“The Lighthouse” is an intelligent, unique, and artistic movie, taking place in the mid 19th century in Canada. Eggers creates an experience that builds a window inside Winslow and Wake’s mind, showing the debilitating mental effects of isolation and the toxic relationship between them. Long, chaotic nights of drinking and partying are catalytic, as are the hours of work they put in at the lighthouse, creating high stress situations and amplifying emotions. Beyond the brilliant cinematic work and the numerous unforgettable scenes, there lies a mythological symbolism that connects with the movie’s structure.  The drunken nights and the scrimshaw of a mermaid creates symbolic messages as well as dreams and slurred conversations, creating an eerie atmosphere and psychological as well as physical solitude. 

Winslow and Wake’s slow descent into insanity is tangible and harrowing, elevated by the impressive performances by Pattinson and Dafoe. Willem stood out for his incredible portrayal of a chiseled old sea man; he managed to be the most stress-inducing and turbulent character throughout the film. He was unpredictable, playing nice at night and then stern in the day. 

“The Lighthouse” shares many similarities with Robert Eggers’ last film, “The Witch.” Both showcase a group of people isolated from civilization and the toxicity of relationships that are formed. Although “The Witch” and Robert Eggers’ usual film structures make his work unique from other horror writers, “The Lighthouse” is much more intelligent and chilling than his previous works. 

“The Lighthouse” is a work of art. The visuals, sounds, and the remarkable acting shaped the movie, almost creating a genre of its own. This movie deserves a 10/10.