The Lighthouse is more satisfying when viewed through the prism of its pitch-black humor; it’s fine as a thriller, borderline brilliant as a comedy of cabin fever and competitive machismo.
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There’s horror and gaslighting and high-on-helium-style comedy and bits of Freud scattered about; in essence, it’s a pile of things that don’t add up to any one thing but do leave you feeling both elated and creeped out.
The movie delivers its share of shudders, along with fabulous arias of anger, wrath and disgust from both actors as the power dynamic bounces back and forth.
It’s a stunning showcase for Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe to unleash their wildest extremes, by positioning them at the center of a two-hander about a descent into madness in the middle of nowhere. It’s the best movie about bad roommates ever made.
If the immediate, textural pleasures of the film are such that you can almost miss the deftness of its construction, the skill with which Eggers balances out his ambivalent storytelling, while still ramping through ever-escalating climaxes, can’t be overstated.
Eggers has created a film of disturbing horror, absurdist comedy and probing psychodrama which defies the generic boundaries as it breaks through them. The Lighthouse is a saltwater gothic masterpiece.
The Lighthouse provides a marvellous chamber-drama platform for two actors, Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, who seize the opportunity with gusto.
The movie, building on “The Witch,” proves that Robert Eggers possesses something more than impeccable genre skill. He has the ability to lock you into the fever of what’s happening onscreen.
Very few films can make you scared and excited at the same time. Just like the lighthouse beam, this is dazzling and dangerous.
Much like The Witch, there is something quite mesmerizing about the meticulousness in the period detail here and how Eggers so seems to revel in it.