Two lighthouse keepers lose their sanity in a remote island when a huge storm hits.
Well this was…wild. I cannot even compare this film to anything else because it’s so far from the ordinary. Director Robert Eggers took the risk of completely shooting in black and white and while I was not too fond of the choice at first, it definitely created an unforgettable experience. This is one of the grittiest films I’ve seen in the last five years.
The Lighthouse is not for everyone. It’s a slow burn centered around two characters (really the only people in the movie) that begin to lose their minds when they become stuck on a remote island. One man is a new hire that must abide by the strict rules of the other, and they do not get along too well. As the film goes on, their relationship just gets weird, claustrophobic, and tense by the second; leaving the audience no room to breathe. Despite being a two man film, it is not the most dialogue heavy. However, it works well because when they do speak, they have your attention. The pacing could have been better (long shots that means something, but go nowhere), but the second act makes up for it.
To clear up the rumors, this is not a horror film. This is a psychological thriller. Surprisingly enough, I found this film very frightening. There are no jump scares, but they are disturbing images that are so subtle in which the camera quickly switches from one sight to another when you least expect it, and it's bound to make your body freeze. I have never seen anything like it. Those moments shocked the whole theater, but the interesting part is no one screamed. With a masterful score like this one, you won't have the time anyway.
The performance buzz lives up to all the hype. William Dafoe (Platoon) and Robert Pattinson (Good Time) gives the performances of their lives. Their characters contrast very well. They are extremely three-dimensional, and both have very specific buttons which boosts their chemistry. Pattinson absolutely deserves an Oscar nomination. Over the years his acting just gets better and better. You can’t help but sympathize with him. He really goes full method on this one, especially during the drunk scenes.
Most people are going to come out of this movie and have a million different conclusions as to what they just saw. This is exactly what Robert Eggers wanted, and I commend him for creating a flawless structure for film to achieve this goal. Plus, the movie was made from scratch. I gotta give it to him.
A24 never disappoints, and this film is no different.
Due to the style however, I recommend this to true Cinephiles only.