Director Robert Eggers seems destined to divide audiences between digging his jam or struggling to connect with the style and pace that he subjects to his stories.
Thankfully, I fall into the former and simply adored his directorial debut, The VVitch starring Anya Taylor Joy which was an incredibly slow burn but was rich in storytelling and strongly supported by some fantastic acting, grounding the fantastical in reality. Combined with his brother and fellow scribe Max, The Eggers offer a fresh approach to the genre and for that I was eager to see what and how he would follow it up.
This love song to Greek mythology pits two strangers on an isolated location, in this case a two-manned lighthouse on a remote and savage island. During its 1hr 49 minute running time, audiences are subjected to a battle of egos, a battle of wills and a fight for power and sanity. Through the fantastical delusions on show, The Lighthouse relies heavily on its two central performers; Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson), contracted to serve 4 weeks at the lighthouse and continually forced to endure gruelling physical tasks by Thomas Wake (Willem Defoe), a miserable irate drunk who appears to get his kicks from punishing Winslow and basking naked in the glow of the light in the tower. Propitiously, both actors more than bring the goods as the bitterness between their characters escalates to an inevitable climax that forces an eruption of testosterone-fueled energy to overflow.
Shot entirely in black and white, Robert Eggers proves once again to be a master in storytelling and exerts a narrative that twists and turns, providing a remarkable modern spin merging together two age old tales.
Will it suit everyone’s tastes? No
Can it be classed as horror? Not really.
But it’s harrowing and beautifully crafted from one of this generation’s most imaginative directors.
- Saul Muerte