This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
byrne’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
EDIT: (rated/put in 2019 ranked)
i genuinely don’t know what to say about this one. i don’t even have a one sentence joke about it. this movie seriously confuses me. and i think i like that. Robert Eggers is completely and utterly insane and i love that about him. this is such a damn strange movie. between the way Eggers messes with time, the Thomas Howard insanity montage, cutting between the lobster trap, RPattz furiously jerking off, and a mermaid’s vagina, it’s all very particular about what it shows. it feels like Eggers was able to put a filter between the audience and the characters. because besides what the two men say about themselves and each other, we know almost nothing about them. i am in genuine awe of both Dafoe’s and Pattinson’s performances. they’re amazing. I don’t really know how to express my feelings towards this film though. even though it does my absolute favorite thing, being that it’s third act goes completely apes**t, the first two acts don’t lead up to it as well as i was anticipating. i can’t tell if im in love with this film or if im disappointed by it. the first two acts set up some things that could happen, but many of them didn’t pay off for me or they went in places i wasn’t very pleased with, such as the mermaid, or what happened to Wake’s previous second. it also never plays with the idea of it all being in Tommy’s head or not, even though it’s a pretty important moment in regards to what happens prior. it seems to completely wipe everything clean when the house gets flooded and they start almost with a clean slate, which seems to be a running theme. it also hardly plays with Tommy’s guilt over Ephraim, even though it’s mentioned two or three times. and yeah, it’s supposed to be ambiguous, but i feel as if Robert and Max Eggers just sort of forgot to tie those parts up, because there’s already plenty to leave up to interpretation.
i know i say this about a lot of films, but i need to rewatch this before i can give it a score