Does “The Lighthouse” shine bright?


Emma Minnick, Editor

“The Lighthouse,” directed by Robert Eggers, was released in 2019. The film follows two lighthouse keepers as they descend into madness. I watched this movie over the weekend and found myself baffled, amused, and terrified.

The movie had very well-done performances. One thing that I found compelling about the film was the performances by Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe. Pattinson stars as the young Ephraim Winslow, a hardworking man with a mysterious past. Dafoe acts as the elderly, jaded light keeper Thomas Wake. The two performances play off of one another, with Dafoe’s eccentric character slowly being eclipsed by Pattinson’s burgeoning madness. The scenes between the two, whether it is a fierce argument or a tender dance, always have incredible chemistry. Dafoe has already cemented his status as a great actor, but for “Twilight” haters who doubt Pattinson’s prowess, this film is sure to prove them wrong.

Another highlight of the film is its cinematography. The entire film is shot in black and white, adding to the surreal atmosphere. Eggers employs blink-and-you-miss-it splice shots between scenes, adding to the chaos and confusion. The film is full of foreboding angles, closeups, and intense dreamlike sequences. Frankly, watching this film will leave you questioning your own sanity!

One downside of the film, in my opinion, is the story’s progression. Going into this film with no background knowledge, I found myself incredibly confused and feeling a bit ignorant for missing the plot. However, I was certainly not alone. After watching, I found myself reading articles and watching videos explaining the different themes and influences of the film. Looking back on “The Lighthouse” with newfound context, I found myself impressed with the deep, intellectual storytelling. I realized themes that had not been apparent before, and deeper social critiques hidden within a seemingly jumbled mess of horror. This did not, however, absolve me of my confusion.

I would recommend this film to anyone who is a cinema buff. If you have the knowledge to dig deeper, you will enjoy the hidden details and commentary. If you are not well versed in cinema, like myself, you can still look forward to intriguing cinematography, stellar acting, and disturbing elements of horror. It is important to note that this film is rated R. It contains horror, violence, and sexual elements, so watch at your own discretion.

Overall, I would give “The Lighthouse” three stars out of five.