The Lighthouse (2019)
Written by: Sam Gohra
Living in The Lighthouse: The Everyday Eldritch
Spoilers for The Lighthouse
The world shrinks and expands all at once. External terrors multiply, as the walls of isolation close in. Each day brings a new parade of the absurd and inexplicable, with the mind-numbing, soul-shuddering intensity of The Lighthouse’s droning foghorn.
Robert Pattinson’s Winslow and Willem Dafoe’s Wake, the dual leads of Robert Eggers’ grim, claustrophobic film, endure torturous and indefinite confinement on a tiny-weather beaten island, dutifully maintaining the lighthouse as one or both descend into insanity.
The question of what is real, and what are lies, becomes an all-encompassing agony.
Writer-director Eggers presents to us strange, sometimes unintelligible characters, in an unfamiliar period and region, under assault from possibly eldritch and certainly ungraspable forces – but captures a humanity and atmosphere which are universal and raw, allowing his tale to unsettlingly echo current-day realities.
The narrative of The Lighthouse takes the form of a cyclic repetition of routines, punctuated with increasingly disturbing intrusions. Winslow’s days are spent in the monotonous drudgery of maintaining the lighthouse and island, interspersed with hellish visions of merpeople, perverted sexuality and inexplicable strangeness.
— To be continued in our September 2020 issue of Cut Frame Magazine. —
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