Paul Leonard’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Lighthouse arrives finally on the big screen following a heap of rave reviews. The latest movie from Robert Eggers seems to be wowing audiences everywhere despite its strangeness.
I wasn’t a big fan of his previous movie The Witch. Like that movie this is both impressive if a little dull.
It’s basically a Freudian tale of two men stuck together in isolation slowing going mad. What is real and what is not?
What does it all mean?
There will be many a film student that will have a field day wanting to write about this and it’s meanings and interpretations.
Eggers has chosen to film this in a square format on the big screen instantly creating a sense of claustrophobia. Shooting in the starkest of black and white also really adds to the atmosphere.
Cinematographer Jarin Blaschke does a stunning job with the lighting in so many scenes. The soundtrack is pretty cool too with the ongoing foghorn creating an ongoing uneasiness.
Other than some characters seen briefly this is a two hander with both Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson both excelling in bringing their grubby and unpleasant characters to life.
Everything about the making of this movie is impressive. It has the feat of feeling like both an accomplished piece of work and yet an arty experimental student flick.
Despite all of that I was never completely pulled in or as engrossed as I would have wished. Still worth seeing though. I did adore the final lighthouse shot though reminding me very much of a certain David Lynch. Makes we want to rewatch the stunning black and white ‘Gotta Light?’ episode from Twin Peaks The Return.