The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse ★★★★★

theater - first viewing 


Within its first 5 minutes the film begins with Pattinson’s character hitting the roof as he walks upstairs and literally in using its own aspect ratio, the film plays with that to make it feel 3rd dimensional-like. As if Winslow actually bumped his head on that part of the screen, and by taking absolute creative advantage of sharply mixing the black area presented above with the film, that top of the actual physical screens space ceases to exist, suddenly everything just blends to make one entirely tangible experience, your there.

Yeah. That single moment right there as small as it appears, is peak cinema and as well as stunned and truly revealed to me what I was really going to be in for in those next two hours and as matter of fact, it should also actually tell you all you really need to know about the mere innovation laid out here from storytelling to technicality, along with these two ferociously powerhouse performances. 

The Lighthouse is an old-timey hallucinatory story that makes you feel strangely convinced it’s dense shanty tales are more than just the legends it was likely inspired by. In all ways possible it takes a bigger step toward capturing and reading the same memorable sense of one of those ambiguous passed-down legends in kaleidoscopically presenting a whole story contained in a cabin-fever drenched loop of time, filled with seawater booze, madness, psychotic souls, and all combined with a well appreciated drizzle of good ol’ isolated erotica in the supremely vast and unsettling mysterious oceans between the two leads. This film is utter perfection. And yes those are all the words that are purveyor to come to mind in trying to somehow capture this magnificently complex work of arthouse horror

First of all I just wanna start out by saying I’m so incredibly proud and grateful for both A24 buddy’s and right now literally kings of horror, Ari Aster & Robert Eggers for literally each stepping up and managing to somehow drop TWO of the most experiential and psychologic-horror film experiences to ever be seen all in the same year. Fucking iconic 

They really did that. Both just pushing the medium in such amazing and new revelatory ways. And with both projects it’s very much the case in where if you hadn’t had any idea about any hand the company had you would think, who in the world is greenlighting these projects? Much less you would come to realize that they probably wouldn’t even get picked up or get the chance to see the light of day in the first place (no pun). Especially not in the wide release treatment this movie is thankfully getting!

But it's really the legends A24 out here and as well as the upcoming auteurs they're now creating that I think will not only stand the test of time, but are simply saving the horror genre and independent filmmaking as a whole right now. By bringing a new resurgence in re-inventing it with simply giving their creatives absolute full freedom to make their outlandish but genius masterpieces, they and all their collaborators will no doubt both go down in history for helping execute this cinema milestone in bringing such wildly unique stories

To the forefront, specifically in a time filling a very much needed hole in the frequently unchallenging and repetitive nature of the industry and by bringing it to a wider audience, they have perfectly carved their own market with their many, many, other sophisticated quality films that they’ve consistently put out literally year after year, and for that I am forever thankful. 

Ok holy fuck where do I even start? Just seeing this movie in theaters is likely one of the most crazy and immersive experiences one can have with film. The essence of it for which I saw someone call as a “gothic Shakespearean” tale is particularly on point and I couldn’t agree more especially with the deliberate and intricate use of language Eggers' uses in this script and the amazingly detailed monologues that play out sort of like poetry. 

The film is teeming from all its squared sides of the claustrophobic screen with the repugnantly wild feeling of repression that Winslow has, and all the bottled feelings contained come crashing together on the miserable isolated rock and that in itself just makes it feel terrifyingly immersive. 

It’s uncompromisingly peak cinema and as well as a sign of a master at work when a director’s unrestricted vision makes you wholly feel like your stepping into the minds and insanity of these characters on this remote island and all at once you go headfirst into the unnerving atmosphere of the world and eerie soundtrack, all constantly making you feel like your also right on the downward spiral, slowly and unbelievably losing your mind along with them. 

Shot gloriously in 35mm film with a moody and breathtaking macabre style of black & white and along with it’s unique 1.19:1 aspect ratio that I love (and have only seen some of the best A24 films daringly try to take on nowadays), The Lighthouse just entirely sweeps you from the start and transcends the form of film with Eggers distinctly utilizing every possible tool in his power to bring you closer into his unsettling, unusual, barbarically cruel, and sometimes-even maniacally funny world, and in doing so brings you an absolute total feast of an experience and overload of the senses to your eyes. 

I can’t fully delve into the meat of the story as of now, I mean just go watch it and tell me exactly how one would do so, just filled to the brim with essays worth of depth and interesting interpretation. Everyone will likely have their each and own draw from the film. But all I can say is that trust me.. it covers all grounds you could think of in your wildest dreams, even for a left-field type of film. 

It also asserts to have such a godlike and biblical quality that can be felt even from the very beginning, and especially to the way the story progresses that I won’t spoil, but man it really elevates the entire film and material in the most unexpected and brilliant way (not surprising although considering how the VVitch also played with topic of religion). All in all, by the end one thing I can promise you though is that it will guaranteed leave you madly thinking:

“what exactly in the hell did I just watch?”

After. In the BEST. Damn way. Possible. 

Still so much to be said about this fantastic film, all of which will come to me later as I’m sure we’ll be talking about this movie for years to come. Like it’s past predecessor the VVitch, I can say that this is clearly another absolute A24 classic under Robert Egger’s belt and as well as an absolute behemoth of a character study, but one that’s insanely subtle and will be sure to garner many interesting and surprising interpretations from everyone. 

It impressively left me feeling the same sense of paranoia I just witnessed after and even weirdly disturbed me in a way I really can’t explain. Insanely layered and begging for multiple viewings, it sent absolute shivers down me spine, and all I know is if I said this wasn't a masterpiece I'd be lyin. 

Don’t wanna keep any secrets from ye’

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