Ben Oliver

Now
The
film

The Lighthouse

Yer fond of me lobster aint’ ye? I seen it - yer fond of me lobster!
31 January 2020

Two lighthouse keepers (Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson) go slowly mad on a 4 week stay in the middle of the ocean.

They don’t make many like this. Shot on location over a gruelling 6 weeks, on film, with an oppressively dark black and white colour palette in a square aspect ratio; The Lighthouse takes everything to the absolute extreme, and it’s riveting.

In spite of all its technical achievements it’s Dafoe’s salty old sea dog and Pattinson’s apprentice that steal the show. Everything else just puts a frame around their balls to the wall no holds barred performances.

And yet… as the credits rolled I felt a little empty. The Lighthouse has all the makings of a masterpiece, but somehow it falls just short. Perhaps it’s too technical. Perhaps it tries a little too hard to elicit a reaction from the audience. Either way I came away surprised that after everything I just saw, I didn’t really feel much of anything.

Excellent work, but not quite better than the sum of its parts.