The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse

Robert Eggers (2019)

109min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson are unforgettable adversaries in this eerie, unnerving two-hander from The Witch director Robert Eggers. Co-written with his brother Max, the film unfolds in moody monochrome as two lighthouse keepers arrive for a stint manning the ships' beacon on a remote New England island in the 1890s. Ominous signs abound as Dafoe's superstitious veteran Thomas lords it over the younger Ephraim, setting a punishing work schedule, yet remaining fiercely protective of the light itself, which seems to possess supernatural qualities. When the men turn to drink and misfortune befalls them, sanity becomes as much a stranger as civilisation. Eggers conjures an oppressive and unpredictable atmosphere, with the pair seesawing between booze-fuelled affection and violent vitriol while Ephraim's visions of an alluring and monstrous mermaid adds a further note of the uncanny. Influences range from Herman Melville to FW Murnau and the captivating, chiaroscuro-rich cinematography by Jarin Blaschke, not to mention the presence of two leads operating at the peak of their powers, ensures it remains horribly effective.

Cast & Crew

Ephraim Winslow / Thomas Howard Robert Pattinson
Thomas Wake Willem Dafoe
Mermaid Valeriia Karaman
Woman on the rocks Kyla Nicolle
Departing wickie Shaun Clarke
Departing assistant wickie Pierre Richard
Tender mate Preston Hudson
Tender mate Jeffrey Cruts
Director Robert Eggers
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: UniversalGuidance: sex, violenceReleased on: 31 Jan 2020