The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse ★★½


[originally written as part of my TIFF '19 coverage]

Reminded me strongly of Soderbergh’s Kafka, another b&w sophomore effort that I respected for its crazed ambition but didn’t actually much enjoy (and have never had any desire to revisit). Dafoe and Pattinson are certainly having a swell time, and I laughed at numerous salty lines and much of the gull-related comedy. Ultimately, though, the madness feels arbitrary, skin-deep, as if Eggers settled on the actors and location without fully working out what they’d do there. The Witch drew considerable power from its sheer nightmarish conviction, and that element is largely absent here. Also not a big fan of fart jokes, so maybe I’m just not the target audience this time around.