The Lighthouse: The [Self]Destruction of Darkness

Starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse follows the journey of Winslow (Pattinson) and Wake (Dafoe), two lighthouse keepers, who try to maintain their sanity while living in isolation on a remote island off the coast of Maine. Tightly written and directed by Robert Eggers (The Witch), The Lighthouse is a fascinating piece that feels like a throwback to classic post-War noir films. Unlike most modern horror films that insist on bombarding the senses, the film is a slow descent into madness highlighted by strong performances from its cast and a striking visual style. Shot on black and white 35mm film, Lighthouse echoes classic Hitchcock films like Psycho and Rear Window by allowing its characters to slowly lose themselves to their circumstances. What?s more, by shooting in a 1:19 : 1 ratio, the film visually reinforces the claustrophobic atmosphere between the two leads as they battle for screen presence. 

Due to the intensity of the relationship between them, the performances of the two leads become even more pivotal to the film and, thankfully, both men are up to the task. While Dafoe has remained a gifted actor for decades now, Pattison continues to mature into a fine performer as well. As the sea rages around them, both actors thunder away at each other onscreen with a rising fury as secrets are revealed and both characters become increasingly unhinged.

Through its visuals and narrative, Lighthouse is most intent on exploring whether one can ever truly escape their own darkness. Taking the position at the lighthouse to start over, Winslow is a man who is determined to prove his worth. He works hard, keeps to himself and simply wants to reset his life on the mainland. (This serves as a direct contrast to Wake who, despite his past, has simply given in to his role on the island.) However, after a questionable decision appears to set the spiritual realm against them, Winslow and Wake find themselves at the mercy of the ever-raging sea. Despite Winslow?s desire to return home and start over, the evil around (and within) them continues to grow, giving failure a sense of inevitability. In this world, the realities of grace and mercy become elusive myths and the sins of our past dictate who we are in the present. For Winslow, hope becomes a boat that may never reach him as the sea grows angrier. In the midst of a furious storm, Winslow finds himself torn as he desperately seeks the secret of the light yet remains trapped within the darkness. 

Filled with psychological terror and bold imagery, The Lighthouse shines brightly. Caught in the grip of a pseudo spiritual enemy, Winslow and Wake fight and claw for supremacy against elements and each other. 

The Lighthouse dives into madness in theatres beginning October 18th, 2019

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