On paper, Robert Egger’s The Lighthouse shouldn’t work as a horror film. It’s a black and white lo-fi aesthetic film that is entirely centered on a lighthouse keeper and his newest hired hand as they work together to maintain the locale. But what in theory shouldn’t work is exactly what makes it do so.
Director Robert Egger had proven himself to be a filmmaker to watch with his breakout film ‘The VVitch’, which was a haunting folktale about one family and their isolation from a community and thrust into the woods. ‘The Lightouse’ then replicated this idea of solitude and goes to the next level. Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson star as our two leading men – with Willem being the keeper and Pattinson being the new hired hand.
The film is literally just two men arguing, masturbating, and swearing, but sprinkled with bits of Lovecraftian fever dreams and a dreadful sense of desperation. They speak in an authentic nautical tongue and share stories to pass the time. It is filmed entirely in black and white on a camera that is literally from the 1930’s which adds to its look – making it more standard boxed rather than the beautiful widescreen we’ve become accustomed to.
All that being said, I really enjoyed this movie. This is a filmmaker who is able to transport the viewer into a foreign universe and show you exactly what he wants to show you. It raises more questions than answers, and in my opinion it makes it more powerful for that reason.
I’ll admit I enjoyed ‘The VVitch’ more than I enjoyed this one, but I was still rather happy with the content I had consumed here.
'Til Next Time, Mike Cleopatra