ashleigh!’s review published on Letterboxd:
Descents into madness are kinda my thing, you all already know that though. Within the first few minutes, I felt myself falling in love with this film. And that ending? Probably burned into my mind forever.
As everyone else has already said, this is impressive on every level. It looks and sounds absolutely gorgeous in theaters, and I wish everybody could get the chance to see it on the big screen. It’s truly something to behold on a technical level, even if you aren’t vibing with the film itself.
One of the biggest aspects to praise about The Witch was the atmosphere, how it built tension and created something truly chilling. The Lighthouse seems to amp this up somehow, creating a claustrophobic environment through its unique aspect ratio that makes the viewer feel trapped and paranoid, much like the characters themselves.
This does seem like a much different ballpark when being compared to Eggers’ previous film, though. While The Witch was very layered and encompassed many themes within it, this just feels a bit deeper and more difficult to truly discern. (I can’t decide which one I like better just yet though, perhaps upon more viewings I’ll have a more concrete opinion. I do feel like I need to watch this a hundred times to actually write about it in a way that isn’t this ramble though, haha.)
That brings me to my next point, that this is truly fascinating in that you take from it what you want. I’ve seen so many interpretations already, and what’s amazing is that they’re all plausible. This is what so many of my personal favorite films do, and why I ended up loving it so much. There is no right or wrong way to look at it, you’re left mostly to figure it out by yourself, anyhow.
Between this and The Witch, Eggers is a director that if he keeps going at this pace, he could cement himself amongst the greats. I’m not gonna jump the gun and say he’s gonna be there just yet, but he’s certainly on my radar. He has such a unique style about his films, and he’s definitely not for everybody, and I can’t wait to see what else he has in store for the world. Not to mention, his obsession with legends, myths, and fairy tales is something truly unique within the horror genre especially. Might just be my new favorite of the year.