The second feature from writer, director Robert Eggers, The Lighthouse feels very much what a modern horror movie should be and yet it employs so many tried and tested horror tropes, isolation, cabin fever, fear of the unknown, fear of others, etc. Starring Willem Dafoe as a grizzled and grumpy “wickie” or lighthouse keeper (you can practically smell the character through the screen) and Robert Pattinson as his young co-worker or aid who takes up a contract in the keeping and maintenance of the lighthouse as such, the setup could easily be a 2 man play in another life.
The black and white cinematography throughout is bleak and yet beautiful, revealing and yet mysterious, and ultimately utterly compelling, not unlike the performances of the 2 leads. Their relationships twists and turns as the movie creeps along, revealing and exploring the frayed thread ends of male bonding and alpha male behaviour within a confined environment.
When the credits roll you will ask yourself questions and like any movie worth its salt it will stay with you and demand the answers from you when you are busy doing something else entirely. Whether you have those answers or not of course is irrelevant. Beautiful, baffling and bonkers in equal measure.