After the critical success of The Witch (2015), Robert Eggers returns with A24 Films to deliver an interesting take on psychological horror in The Lighthouse.

The film has been available for limited release for the last couple of months and has tripled its $4m budget on the box office. It will officially release in the UK on 31st January.

The story follows Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as two lighthouse keepers that slowly lose their sanity whilst maintaining a lighthouse on a small New England Island in the 1890s.

One of the key features that stand out in this movie is its cinematography. Done by The Witch’s Jarin Blaschke, the film was shot in black and white as well as a 1.19:1 narrow aspect ratio to give The Lighthouse a vintage and time accurate look.

This was achieved using a 35mm film from the 1930s that was inspired by 19th century photography.

As demonstrated in Eggers’ previous entry, he champions attention to detail from set design, costumes and even conversation. Dafoe was fully immersed into his character who had a thick 19th century seaman dialect.

In an interview with BFI’s Lou Thomas, he describes the Director’s dedication to period accuracy.

“When I said I wanted to do this, [Eggers] presented me with many things to watch, many things read, many things to listen to.

“Everything from sea shanties to pictures to videos of interviews of old lighthouse keepers, vintage footage to accent tapes. You go as deep as you want to go.”

Along with Willem Dafoe’s amazing acting, this is Robert Pattinson’s best performance to date. Both actors complement each other in an otherwise two-man show.

The conflict that gradually arises in Winslow (Pattinson) concurs with the themes of Identity, Desire and Isolation that carefully threads together to create a suspenseful Lovecraftian masterpiece.

Movie Rating: 8/10

Photo by Jordan McQueen on Unsplash

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