James (Schaffrillas)’s review published on Letterboxd:
The closest thing we'll get to a modern-day 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Robert Eggers has given us an absolutely mesmerizing piece of art that begs to be interpreted in a number of ways. I couldn't tell what the hell it meant while I was watching it, and from the sound of things, neither could the other 20-somethings I left the theater with. This is not a film that will appeal to everyone; not in the slightest.
And yet, even though I had very little idea what was happening, I was still mesmerized. The cinematography and intentionally tight aspect ratio made for an effortlessly uncomfortable experience. The sound design, holy shit! It was immensely haunting and I don't expect to forget it anytime soon. The set was great as well; honestly, I'd love to see this adapted for the stage, the script is a great showcase for wonderful directing and acting.
AND THE ACTING! DEAR NEPTUNE, I FORGOT WILLEM DAFOE WAS A HUMAN BEING. He gives the performance of a lifetime and gets absolutely lost in the role. His monologues are equal parts astounding and terrifying. THE LIGHTING ON HIS FACE DURING THAT ONE SCENE GODDAMN.
Robert Pattinson had me worried cause it felt like he couldn't commit to an accent for a little bit at the beginning, but once he gets going, there's no stopping him. Another career-best performance, though he is outshined pretty hard by Willem Dafoe.
It's a terrifying, bizarre, uncomfortable, shocking experience that a ton of people are gonna hate.
And it reminded me why I love movies in the first place.