David Gregg’s review published on Letterboxd:
This is very much a preliminary rating. As cool as it was to watch The Lighthouse in a town hall built in the 1850’s, the acoustics cause quite a lot of echoing. Without subtitles this film is hard enough to understand, but in the town hall there were times I really didn’t have a clue what they were saying. So I’ve assigned 8 but it really could be in the 7-9 range. I’ll know when I get the chance to rewatch with subtitles.
This brings me onto my first complaint. Robert Pattinson’s accent throughout the film is inconsistent in my opinion. This made it even harder to understand. But more importantly, it broke my engagement. Besides this, both Pattinson and Dafoe give terrific performances. The latter giving one of his best, it’s like Dafoe was born for the role. If I was being really picky I’d say that The Lighthouse could do with being a bit longer, to allow for certain moments to breathe. But, that’s all I have for complaints.
What impresses me the most about The Lighthouse is it’s ability to balance the horror and comedic elements. Convincing mood swings mean that the film can go from tense to hilarious in a reasonable manner. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it done so well. There’s this ongoing descent into madness and paranoia, but the humour doesn’t detract from this at all. In fact at times, it actually adds to it.
Robert Eggers use of folklore, mythology and actual history is very clever. No matter if you know of it beforehand or learn it afterwards, it adds an extra layer to the film. The Lighthouse gives you so much to think about. The production design is some next level work and the film is a true spectacle to watch.
When I look back on The Witch, I remember it as a flawed but impressive debut. The Lighthouse is a massive improvement and Eggers is becoming a very exciting filmmaker.