“The Lighthouse” Movie Review

Story posted November 9, 2019 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Lilly Adams

Robert Eggers has officially been declared the type of filmmaker he has rooted himself to be in the industry; bold, creative, original, and brilliant.

Returning after a four-year hiatus from his wildly successful debut, “The Witch,” Eggers gave audience members a fresh new idea in the intelligent psychological horror genre. Instead of witches, 16th century New English language and creepy twins, Eggers gave audience members a much more realistic idea of what one can do with the genre; two men, isolated in a lighthouse for weeks at sea, completely losing their minds.

“The Lighthouse” was released on Oct. 18, after being called one of the most anticipated movies of the year. With its ambiguous trailers and little to no information about filming, audiences weren’t sure what to expect from the man that re-introduced the intelligent horror genre. What they received went beyond the enlightened comprehension of filmmaking exemplified in “The Witch,” and somehow intertwined that same dark intensity and enlightenment with comedy, mystical elements, realistic, gritty atmosphere and more to create one of the best films of 2019.

Intertwining those elements and keeping a steady pace of solemnity will always prove to be difficult, and almost always will stretch a movie too thin in certain parts. While this is seen at times during “The Lighthouse,” the film catches itself and recovers with grace and expertise, personified by multiple elements. Whether it be the acting, cinematography, set design, screenplay, direction, the film swims as smooth as the sea it’s characters are surrounded by.

In modern times of CGI and a film’s rating has a complete dependence on being the best at the box office, originality in 21st Century Films seems to be lost in a sea of sequels, live action Disney films and unnecessary remakes.

However, there has been a slow, patient, yet tasteful resurgence of intelligent cinema within the last few years that has been obscured by mainstream filmmaking. Robert Eggers has officially revealed the resurgence with “The Lighthouse,” proving that it is possible to combine anticipation, intelligence and creativity in 2019 filmmaking.    

To say that keeping an audience’s attention is difficult with having minimal actors is now a complete lie, thanks to the near flawless performances of the film’s sole two characters, Thomas Wake (Willem Dafoe) and Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson.) The two men encapsulate themselves within the dialogue and characters; both reaching an unrecognizable level, and not only because of the 19th Century hair and costumes. Their monologues, accents, and acting ability fully conceal the men in the skin of their characters, no doubt making their performances two of the best of the year.

In addition to that, the exceptionally intelligent writing, beautiful cinematography (all shot on black and white 35 mm film) and direction no doubt make “The Lighthouse” one of the best movies of the year, and audiences should keep any future projects by Robert Eggers at their number one priority.

Rating: 5/5


Lilly Adams is a junior majoring in Film/Video. To contact her, email lillyadams11@gmail.com.