The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse ★★★★★

"Corruption, thou art my father!"
Hooptober 6.0: 34/44

While it's abundantly clear to me that I have no hope of completing Hooptober before October 31st (I will still watch everything, but I'll need to go into overtime), it doesn't matter. I'd be shocked if any in my catalog top The Lighthouse, one of the best horror films I've ever seen. It's easily my favorite of the whole year; I can't imagine anything topping it, either. I also can't imagine Willem Dafoe or Robert Pattinson exceeding their performances here. Both of them are flawlessly in character and play off each other so well. Willem Dafoe is the best portrayal of a Captain Ahab character in my life, and he holds a presence like no other. There's no better choice than these two actors occupying the whole film. They naturally perform the 1890s dialect like no one ever could, and I didn't have an issue understanding it without subtitles.

Robert Eggers already showed promise in the technical aspects with The Witch, and The Lighthouse is a million times better on that front. Every single shot is the best usage of modern black-and-white I've ever seen. It's gorgeous yet uneasy at the same time, and every camera movement is purposeful. Every piece of cinematography weaves together in auteurist perfection. The score and sound design are among the best horror films ever achieved, and they alone make me want to rewatch this film while I type this out. The production design is seamless; it's no wonder why Nova Scotia campaigned to preserve The Lighthouse's set.

However, at the core narrative, The Lighthouse shines brighter. It's a genuinely terrifying psychological horror that's nearly impossible to follow. It's an experience to witness, and one impossible to forget by the end. I'll have to try understanding the themes on a second watch, on my first I got lost in the madness. It's an experience I'll treasure forever. However, the comedy of The Lighthouse is equally memorable. It's throughout the whole experience and blends into the psychological horror seamlessly. There's not a single joke that distracts from the scares. They're hand in hand, and I couldn't ask for a better combination of both elements. The dialogue is all well-written, and there isn't a single line that's noticeably separate from the time nor the setting.

From the moment it starts to the moment it ends, The Lighthouse is a thoroughly engaging masterpiece of psychological horror. Plenty of scenes ingrained into my head and will likely stay there forever. It's a film that I can watch dozens of times and won't become bored. It's a film I want to dissect every layer it provides. It's a film that I want to classify as a favorite right this minute. It's a masterpiece. There will never be an experience like The Lighthouse ever again, and everyone should see it as soon as physically possible. Robert Eggers is a promising horror director that I'm keeping my eye on. Even if no other film he makes comes close to The Lighthouse's quality, he deserves it for this gem.

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