By: Movie Snurb (A Toast) –
Robert Eggers is back with another period piece horror film that is stylistically brilliant with dialogue accurate to the time period it’s set in. This time it centers on two men, Thomas (Willem Dafoe) and Ephrem/Thomas (Robert Pattinson), who are working as lighthouse keepers for a lighthouse on a remote island far away from civilization. Thomas is the veteran keeper and gives Ephrem all the chores/tasks that he does not want to do. Meanwhile Thomas gaslights Ephrem into thinking he’s going insane and forbids him to go to the light in the lighthouse. If you ever wanted to see Dafoe fart and Pattinson jerk off to mermaids then I’ve got the movie for you.
Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe give equally brilliant performances. Pattinson has shed his Twilight performance several times over by now and he’s emerged as one of the most exciting actors working today. Choosing smaller artistic roles has proven fruitful for himself and I hope it eventually leads to an Oscar win for the man. Dafoe is maybe even better; he completely disappears behind his massive unkempt beard and manic stare. Dafoe is subsumed by his character and gives arguably his best performance ever. I’d love for him to get some awards love this season because this is a performance that deserves to bring him his first Oscar.
Speaking of exciting talent, Robert Eggers has appeared as one of the premier horror filmmakers today along with Ari Aster and Jordan Peele. He constructs his films into period pieces with such detail you’d think your history professor made them. His films are not about the cheap scares, but utilizing the setting to create an air of unsettledness that begins to eat away at you until the very end of his films leave you completely terrified. I’d say this film’s ending is scarier then his first film The VVitch mainly because this is more realistic. Yes, there are supernatural parts to this film, but I think the overall interpretation is a real one where you shouldn’t take superstitions lightly.
Lastly the cinematography is brilliant! Not only stylistically, but the way it is shot is great. Eggers insisted they use the cameras that they used back in that time period to make movies, and this gives the film a feel of authenticity. Also, the lighting is amazing. It’s reminiscent of the Noir films of the 1940s, utilizing shadows and light to make Dafoe look even more deranged. With most of the film shrouded in darkness, it helps create that sense of cabin fever and dread.
I love the fact the Robert Eggers puts so much effort into making his period films as realistic as possible. But Dafoe and Pattinson are drunk for a lot of the movie and therefore they mumble, and there were several scenes when I needed subtitles. I am going to have to re-watch this film when it comes out on Blu-Ray so I can read it this time.
The Lighthouse is a WTF movie for the ages; it keeps you wondering until the very end and the last 15 seconds will absolutely terrify you. I’m not going to tell you how to interpret the film, but reading about some of the inspirations make sense. My interpretation is simple…don’t fuck with gulls.
The Lighthouse (2019) Drinking Game
Do a Shot: every time Dafoe Farts.
Do a Shot: every time Pattinson pleasures himself.
Take a Drink: every time Dafoe says “what”.
Take a Drink: every time Pattinson hallucinates
Lastly, Take a Drink: every time they drink.