Scarlett Worthington’s review published on Letterboxd:
Pathetic fallacy on fucking steroids.
So yeah... it really was worth the hype.
Obviously I’ve heard so so much about this film and seen a fair few clips so I had high hopes and they were most definitely met. I’m big on atmosphere, psychological torment, single-setting films and films with only two actors. So I think you can see why this film has become an instant favourite for me. I knew Eggers had a knack for creating atmosphere and this film justifies that entirely, I don’t think an atmosphere so foreboding, unpredictable, liminal and terrifying has ever been created. The Lighthouuse is literally on par with The Overlook Hotel. The score helped largely in this with it being ominous and highly immersive; I was wearing noise cancelling headphones when I watched this and the score and sounds did literally invade my senses and that’s what a horror (or psychological thriller I’m not sure which genre this film falls into more) should do because that makes the immersion fully effective. I find this film ground-breaking because it’s so obscure with such a sense of otherness, yet incredibly theatrical with the heavy use of dialogue (the dialogue is insanely impressive) for example and that combination makes the film so unpredictable and ultimately masterful in its tone and atmosphere. You really saw two men’s mind unravel as they fall further and further into insanity because of their isolation and it got in your own head. But then it may not be two men’s insanity: it could be one of the Tom’s insanity and the other being victim to it, it could be neither there may be a genuine supernatural force or it actually could be two men who really just have spent too much time alone with each other and the fact all of these are possibilities make this film a contemporary masterpiece. We all know the best films are those without answers (i.e 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining which I’ve already compared this movie too). My review really did not do this film justice and I definitely have not mentioned everything that The Lighthouse made me feel, but it is one of those films where the effect speaks for itself. With Egger’s innovative film-making approach along with Paterson’s and Dafoe’s incredibly disturbing performances, I honestly can not fault it.