The Lighthouse

Two men (Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe) go insane on a tiny island in The Lighthouse, or Brexit: The Movie.

Essentially The Shining in a lighthouse (The Brining?), this loose Poe adaptation sees Robert Eggers (The Witch) continue his penchant for characters in desperate situations with thick dialects falling victim to the elements. This time he leans heavier into the psychological than the supernatural, keeping you trapped inside Pattinson’s head for the duration via a tight aspect ratio and claustrophobic production design. This must be the murkiest set since The Chipping Norton set, a ramshackle, repellant rock residence captured in stark yet vivid black and white. The lighthouse becomes a helter-skelter to hell through bizarre, feverish direction, kept afloat by flecks of oily black humour.

The indeterminate time and place adds to the sense of myth and dislocation, bringing an almost classical quality to the pair’s solitary descent into chaos. Both actors give intensely committed performances (Defoe more than Pattinson in terms of accents) and drink more than in any movie since Mamma Mia!, basically stretching the singing scene in Jaws to its groggiest conclusion. Eggers sustains the intense sound and volatile atmosphere to create another beautiful nightmare of psychological horror that doesn’t condescend to explain itself. The Lighthouse is a vicious and viscous two-hander about masculine isolation, bodily fluids and the deranged people we elect to light our way in the dark.

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