Movie Review: The Lighthouse


Anna Mayo '20, Staff Writer

Disclaimer: This film has been rated R, due to content.

The Lighthouse is a dramatic, unnerving cinematic experience and director Robert Eggers’ second arthouse period drama/thriller. It explores a number of themes including: obsession, sexual impulse and the ways in which guilt drives us.

The film is set in the late 1800s/early 1900s in the New England area. It opens with our two characters – Ephriam Winslow and Thomas Wake (portrayed by Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, respectively) arriving on a desolate island to tend to the lighthouse that resides on it. The daunting atmosphere of the film is set and reinforced by the constant blare of the foghorn playing ominously in the background, as well as the deep black and white tones it was filmed in. As the days go by, Winslow and Wake begin to adjust to each other only through their indulgence of drink. They sing, scream, fart and confide in each other. However, an air of uncertainty hangs around each character’s convoluted backstory, leaving the audience to decide which character to put their faith in, if either one can be trusted, that is.

Both Pattinson and Dafoe’s performances are commendable – Pattinson unleashing spurts of unbridled rage as his character descends deeper into madness and Dafoe delivering sea songs and curses in a grumbling fashion as powerful as the sea that surrounds them. 

The Lighthouse is as entertaining as it is enticing and hypnotizing, and it will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Image courtesy of PXHERE.