The Lighthouse: Weird, Humorous, Creepy and Great


Credit to A24.

Ashton T. Livingston, Editor-in-Chief, Writer

The Lighthouse is a film that will be definitely divisive with people as it is not your typical movie. This is a weird, weird movie, but it makes all of this weirdness work in the most eerie and humorous ways. Robert Eggers creates a film that is wholly original in all the best ways. It has a great story backed by some of the best actors Hollywood has to offer, those being Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson. 

The Lighthouse creates an amazing atmosphere by making you feel you’re in the time period the film takes place. There are very deliberate choices made to achieve this feel: one by being in completely black and white, two by being shot on 35 millimeter film and third by being on sixteenth ratio much like a film from the early 1900’s. But the commitment doesn’t stop there, this film has some outstanding production design in its sets, costumes, and occasional visual effects. Going back to the atmosphere, Robert Eggers’ direction behind the camera creates one of the most intense visual experiences out there, so much so that sometimes what he’s doing with the camera can go unnoticed because of what Eggers has achieved. 

Visuals can add to a film, but a movie is nothing without its actors, and this movie has some amazing actors. Robert Pattinson, who was infamous for being in the god awful Twilight Saga, has been proving himself as an actor more and more with each film he’s done and I think this film cements him as not only a good but a great actor. Pattinson can jump from the absolute bleakest emotions to pure and utter joy within seconds. He can also convey pure terror in his eyes and face in the most convincing of ways. Pattinson is also extremely lucky in the fact that he can play off another great actor, Willem Dafoe. 

Willem Dafoe creates an extremely in depth character just through his performance. You feel a sense of uneasiness whenever he’s on screen. Dafoe can jump from such different emotions in the matter of seconds making his character all the more frightening. His character also gives small tidbits of information throughout that creates a very inclusive feeling film. It makes you feel like you can’t figure out what’s happening and that is one of my favorite aspects of this weird movie. 

This movie does not hold your hand. You have to formulate your own opinions and theories as to what is happening on the screen. And boy oh boy what is happening on screen can be pretty weird. The film deals with sexuality a lot. Robert Pattinson’s character is neck deep in lust and the movie portrays this in a frightening way that brings you into the mindset of a man descending into madness. The visuals also are up to your interpretation and you never get a direct answer as to what’s happening. I love that. Movies that let me as an audience member decide what’s going on are my favorite, this is one of the reasons I love The Shining. Speaking of The Shining, the ideas of seclusion in this film are intense.

Our two leads are trapped on an island with dwindling resources and dwindling mental stability. All of this thrown in with some creepy visuals that play on some Lovecraftian themes along with a lot of stuff pulled from Greek mythology. All of this creates great character moments for some of the best actors of our time. You can feel the seclusion settle in with each dinner scene as they grow more and more intense and as the visuals get creepier and creepier. The camera work to achieve this in phenomenal as well. What they are doing is so simplistic yet elegant that it can go unnoticed what amazing things are being done with the camera. The camera also sets you into the time period nicely with its grainy black and white. 

The Lighthouse is not your ordinary horror film. Much in the vein or A24’s previous horror films they go much off the beaten path doing so gives them each an identity of their own. Robert Eggers tells a fascinating story here that captivates you and pulls you in and makes you feel as many human emotions as possibly making you know what it felt like to be these characters. Through great writing that is supporting by amazing actors who are both some of the best of our time we get an amazing cinema experience. Through all of this and a great immersive atmosphere we get The Lighthouse. I’ll give The Lighthouse an A+. The Lighthouse is rated R for language, nudity, violence, and sexual themes.