The Lighthouse (2019) Movie Review

Director: Robert Eggers

Writer: Max Eggers, Robert Eggers (Screenplay)

Starring: Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson, Valeriia Karaman

Plot: Two lighthouse keepers try to maintain their sanity while living on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s.


Tagline – There is enchantment in the light.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Atmospheric

Story: The Lighthouse starts as the two lighthouse keepers Thomas Wake (Dafoe) and rookie Ephraim Winslow (Pattinson) arrive at their remote lighthouse, Thomas wants to work with the light, while making Ephraim do the housework and maintenance work.

The two men have no previous connection, which sees Ephraim wanting to play by the rulebook, while Thomas is will to let his experience guide the time together, seeing the two clash, as superstitions start to take control of what Ephraim is allowed to do. Add in the mystery of a creature Ephraim keeps seeing, he is trying to unlock the mystery of the island, one he believes Thomas isn’t letting him know about.

Thoughts on The Lighthouse

Characters – Thomas Wake is the experienced lighthouse keeper, he has been doing this for decades, sacrificed family to do so. He is strict, wanting to only deal with the light responsibilities taking advantage of his rookie partner, he doesn’t show him any respect unless he is drunk, while keeping a mystery about the island to himself. Ephraim Winslow is the rookie lighthouse keeper on his very first job, he has learnt the rulebook wanting to play along with it to make sure the job is done well, he finds himself becoming the housekeeper doing the chores around the island, keeping everything operating smoothly. He starts to question what is happening on the island, having visions of a mysterious creature, all while trying to prove himself to Thomas.

PerformancesWillem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson are both truly outstanding in this film, in the last couple of years we have seen plenty of lighthouse based films, with these two giving the best performances in any of them by a long way.

StoryThe story here follows two men with different levels of experience working on an island lighthouse, where they soon start to see the strange event happening, leaving themselves to question their sanity. This is a story that does keep you wondering just what is going to happen next, while we can start in the non-horror side of the story, we see how the two must put up with each other, finding the only joint idea being, having too many drinks, the respect does start to grow. When we look at the horror side of the story we are left scratching our heads, trying to unlock the truth, where everything is more about the sanity of the human mind over anything else, showing just how mentally challenging the roles of lighthouse keepers really were.

HorrorThe horror comes from seeing just how the human mind could start to unfold, we might have a few creature related scares, but the human mind slowly going into insanity is where the real horrors lay.

SettingsThe film is set on the single remote island, with the lighthouse being the only building, it reflects the complete isolation the two characters are living through.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the effects, we do have strong ones when we need them, we don’t turn to a constant onslaught of needing them, but when an injury or unusual situation happens the characters react like anybody would.


Scene of the Movie – Drinking and dancing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too much maritime talk.

Final Thoughts This is one of the most surreal horrors of the year, it will offer plenty of questions with performances that are truly outstanding.

Overall: Surreal.

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