THE LIGHTHOUSE IS A MACABRE LOVE LETTER TO THE MADNESS OF THE SEA
SPOILER FREE REVIEW: The Lighthouse captures the madness of the sea and those whose love her with haunting performances from Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattison.
From the director of The Witch this psychological horror was never going to be an easy watch, or a straight forwards story - but it is one of the most imaginative films of recent years.
Using 35mm black and white film, Robert Eggers tells the story of a wild eyed old sailor and a younger man who has joined him on a remote New England lighthouse to serve as his 'wickie' - an assistant to manage the maintenance of the lamp.
Both have their reasons for being there, Willem Dafoe’s wild eyed sea dog seems to have an unnatural fixation with the blinding lamp at the the top of the lonely tower; an unnatural obsession that soon overcomes Robert Pattison’s troubled drifter, too.
Like the ocean crashing around it, the film swells and ebbs with dizzying speeds, taking you on a journey that simultaneously reveals the euphoria and depths of madness, and how when left to your own thoughts - particularly in the bleak times of the 1890s - they are your greatest foe.
Disorientating, oppressive and wondrous, there are moments you question your own sanity, and despite the film being shot in black and white, the story is anything but.
Ocean myths, gods and superstitions underlie what is a classic ghost story, which, paired with a soundtrack that is impossible to forget even after the credits stop rolling, makes for an unforgettable and electric viewing experience.
Nominated for an Oscar for Best Cinematography, it's an insult to the cast and director that it is not up for more.