The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse, the second film from Robert Eggers, the director of the excellent, wildly disconcerting period horror The Witch, is... funnier than expected? Sure, it’s also fucked-up and intense and distressing, but there are significantly more fart jokes than one might expect. Robert Pattinson, with a voice like The Simpsons’ Mayor Quimby, and Willem Dafoe, with a voice like The Simpsons’ crusty old sea captain, play two lost souls manning a decrepit lighthouse on a miserable, unnamed island. Like The Witch, this is a story and a setting that feels old, and Eggers captures it in joyless black and white, antiquated dialogue, and a squarish, 1.19:1 aspect ratio. Pattinson and Dafoe squabble and fight and scream, and something is lurking on the rocky cliffs, and something else is lurking at the top of the tower, and man, this one seagull really hates Pattinson. Things get weird, and sad, and unexpectedly touching; Dafoe and Pattinson are both great, and if you’re going to descend into Eggers’s particular brand of fraught, bleak madness, one could hardly ask for better company. As we head into another dour, dark Northwest winter, Eggers’s whipping gales and damp despair are here to remind you that hey, things could always be worse.

by Erik Henriksen
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Trailer

Credits
Director
Robert Eggers
Cast
Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson, Valeriia Karaman