The newest movie by director Robert Eggers, who previously brought us the terrifying “The Witch”, a movie that divided all the horror movie fans with some calling it one of the best horror movies of the year and others calling it one of the worst. This time he brings us a very greedy attempt to explain the mental deterioration that takes place while enduring difficult situations. In this case, two lighthouse keepers watch over a lonely and desolate lighthouse with the only company being themselves. Set in 1890, and filmed in a 1. 19:1 aspect ratio (very rare, even for old movies) and also black and white, giving it a feeling of having been filmed in the early 1900s.
With this movie already having won many awards and having been nominated by many others it is obvious that it caused me a lot of curiosity. If I am fully honest, I must confess that I had no idea what to expect from this movie, but it still made me very excited. With the interpretations of Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, I must admit that I was skeptical about Robert Pattinson, for I had not seen anything impressive about his acting, but through time and reading about other people’s opinion, I began to see how he was being praised for his role in this movie. But all in all, I can say that it has been one of my most anticipated movies of 2019 (2020 in Mexico and most Latin American countries).
Now, if you like psychological horror movies, the ones where you feel like you are personally being attacked by the experience, then this movie might just be your thing, since this is exactly what the movie has to offer, it intends to make you feel unsafe and triggered by feelings of loneliness and despair. Just like his previous film, this movie also feeds on making you uncomfortable instead of using jump scares and generic scares like those. You can feel this in your bones, it gets under your skin. That is part of its mastery. But one thing you need to know is how impressive the soundtrack is. I’ve already mentioned how important good soundtracks are, how the music helps you tell a story and the way you express a feeling to the viewers. This is why I can’t stop talking about how incredible, emotional, chilling and terrifying the soundtrack was, please appreciate it once you watch it, close your eyes for one minute and feel the flow of the music, it causes you to feel the same things the picture intents to make you feel. Something that isn’t common at all. Speaking about the photography involved in this movie, let’s just say that Wes Anderson is proud of Robert Eggers, not just proud, more like satisfied at how centric and perfect it is. Going back to what 1.19:1 aspect ratio is, it means that the movie is filmed almost in a squared ratio, this causes the photography to almost inevitably become centric, where all the important details happen exactly in the middle, unlike most movies where everything important has to follow the Golden Ratio, this movie, just like Wes Anderson movies, rather follows the Rule of Thirds by preferring to focus everything in the center of the screen. This makes the movie delightful to watch it, even if you don’t know anything about photography.
Now, let me give you one advice, if you watch this movie you need to know that it is not your average popcorn eating movie that you watch on Sunday evenings, neither it is a movie you watch where you spend quality time with your friends, it is an elaborate experience where you need to be focused on the details.
So, after mentioning everything that this movie does in the area of photography and score, let’s go to the actual story and the intention of the movie. Well, about that I can be talking for a long time. Just think about this next thing I will say, the monologs that Willem Dafoe has in a few occasions are as memorable and striking as the monolog given by Samuel L. Jackson as Jules in the first chapter of Pulp Fiction (this is my personal opinion of course), although, the topics are very different, with Pulp Fiction causing some unintentional laughter and The Lighthouse making your spine get cold and causing a neurological reaction that makes you feel small and weak, like a small and defenseless creature. Without trying to spoil much, I just want to specially praise the monologue that Dafoe gives where he curses Pattinson, it really gave me goosebumps, that’s how good it was.
Now, I want to address a few things that I consider important, I don’t consider them to be spoilers, but if you don’t want to know anything at all I guess you can watch the movie than read this part. But like I said, not really spoilers.
I really had mixed feelings at first, since I felt like the movie was not progressing, I felt like it was almost over and that the craziness had been untold. But then we got the very intense and masterful monolog interpreted by Pattinson and boy o boy did I shudder. It was just so well done. I want to let the ending to be interpreted by yourself without being influenced by what I think about it. But I need to praise just how terrifying the sound becomes through the end. It just wakes up every feeling in your body, releasing adrenalin because of the feeling of not knowing where your fear really is coming, either through your hearing or your seeing. It causes incredible dread as to why you feel scared.
Overall, I came out of the cinema feeling, numb. Numb to the relaxing feeling of just living because you can. I felt scared because I knew that guilt was the cause of all the wrongdoings in the movie and I knew I had things I had to get rid of. I felt emotionally unstable because I knew that I could be not too far from going crazy like this man. It all went away a few hours later, but I was touched by the feeling inevitable condemnation.
I have to say that this has been an amazing way to start the year, I am glad I started with this magnificent experience and I really hope that Eggers can only get better from here on. I am also very happy to have seen Willem Defoe in another incredible role; I love seeing him become better every single movie he’s in. I am very surprised as to how great Robert Pattinson has become, from seeing him in his worst role ever and one of the most boring and tasteless roles in cinema history (Edward in Twilight, of course I’m talking about that role) to becoming one of the most praised comebacks in resent years. Overall, I am glad I had the opportunity to watch this movie.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this review. Tell me what you think of this movie. What was your reaction? Do you consider the Lighthouse to be overrated or is praise well deserved? Let me know in the comments and get ready for I am planning to write more this new year. That’s right, new year new me. What should I review next?