Strap in for an unlikely pairing of William DaFoe and Robert Pattinson as lighthouse keepers who drive each other insane, all while drinking and farting up a storm. It’s a remarkable film.
The hypotonic and hallucinatory tale of two lighthouse keepers on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1980s.
Boy, these two guys must have just stunk. Levels of smell I can’t even fathom. One of the first takeaways from Robert Eggers newest movie, The Lighthouse, which finds two men stranded at a lighthouse, where everything isn’t as it seems. There is so much to unpack from The Lighthouse as it deals with many themes, and takes a lot of its mythos from Greek Mythology. Curiosity, obsession and insanity, all 3 of these things drive these men. The Lighthouse is the central figure of this story. Thomas Wake (DaFoe) is the keeper while Ephraim Winslow (Pattinson) is the new comer who mostly acts as a house wife. He does everything except see whatever is inside the lantern room. He is forbidden from going inside, and that is what ultimately drives him to madness.
It acts as a forbidden object, where Icarus once flew to closely to the sun or how Adam and Eve ate the fruit, there is a mythological factor to whatever is inside, and no one truly knows the power behind it. As these men bond over alcohol and argue over everything else, including farts, the chemistry between was palpable.
One thing I should mention, it’s a pretty big detail, this film is in black and white, and it elevates it, in ways colours simply could not do. It makes for a more surreal experience and makes things seem more eerie and more bizarre. These two men, are isolated, trapped on this rock for weeks. Their only outlet is one another, and the only time they are truly bonding is when they are both getting hammered drunk. It’s what brings them together and what tares them apart. Both Pattinson and DaFoe give carrer defining performances, I was blown away by the pair. DaFoe’s character acts much like a god would, with his biblical monologues, his beard and his overall presence. While Pattinson is driven further into madness with each passing scene. The answer he is seeking most, what’s atop the lighthouse, will drive him to his breaking point. Parts of this film reminded me of The Shinning, where being alone and isolated can drive a person mad, being cut off from resources and any form of communication. And actually the one scare in it, works so well and reminded me of one of the more iconic scares in all of horror, from Psycho. Jump scares work so much better without the use of sound, and just everything about the making of this film is pretty much flawless. The score, which beats you to death, with the overbearing sound of a foghorn, never stops. The set design, the use of water, the script. I just thought everything worked so well, but it’s one of those movies where everything sort of has a double meaning and really makes you think.
Even the ending, which can be broken down, and with further watches, answers will be revealed, it’s hard to decipher what Eggers is trying to say. One thing is certain, do not, and I mean do not, mess with seagulls. That will come back to haunt you in a big way.
The Lighthouse = 90/100.