The Lighthouse (2019)
Directed by Robert Eggers
Starring Willem Dafoe & Robert Pattinson
Director Robert Egger’s 2015 film The Witch took us on an amazing journey to New England circa the 1600s. With 2019’s The Lighthouse, he attempts a wild and enchanting ride to New England in the 1800s. Would it also be amazing?
From its opening shot, The Lighthouse delights and disturbs. The movie’s throwback aspect ratio, lack of color, and limited dialogue had my brain swirling with glee as I enjoyed what is the most A24 of all the A24 films I have seen.
When directing a film with such a patient pace, it’s important to create a world that’s easy for the viewer to enter, and with The Lighthouse, Eggers does just that. I felt so immersed in the story that when the mundane lighthouse life of the film’s main character bent towards the supernatural, I felt a glimpse of the dread that young Ephraim Winslow was feeling, played with earnest by Robert Pattinson. As the film effortlessly glided along, I found myself vacillating between uncertainty and the certainty of what was to come, never fully gaining my bearings… especially in scenes where Willem Dafoe gave his apprentice the Mr. Miyagi treatment.
To summarize: The Lighthouse is amazing. And yes, whether it be the 1600s or the 1800s, Eggers creates an inhabitable world where the unbelievable so believably happens.
If his directorial debut The Witch (2015) is a B+ then this follow up is an A-