Robert Eggers’s follow-up to his horror masterpiece, The Witch, is a strangely hypnotic tale of two lighthouse keepers on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s.
Robert Pattison and Willem Dafoe play the two who try to maintain their sanity while living on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s. “…This storm-battered maritime horror, is set on a remote lighthouse station in the 1890s and shot in severe black and white. You would struggle to describe either man as conventionally handsome here – even before the wind, brine, seagulls, blunt force trauma, flying excreta and unspecified Lovecraftian sludge take their toll. But both have a kind of sublime ugliness that is wholly in keeping with a film that feels less made than hoisted up like treasure from the belly of some rust-bitten shipwreck. Pattinson plays Ephraim Winslow, the taciturn new apprentice to Dafoe’s lighthouse keeper Thomas Wake, who comes across like Captain Haddock crossed with Gollum. As the film begins, both men arrive at their posts through a cloak of fog, braced for a four-week shift….Both have their secrets, and these slowly emerge as a tempest closes in and prolongs their stay indefinitely, while tempers fray, rations moulder, identities crumble, and a small, scrimshaw mermaid Pattinson finds tucked in his mattress exerts an unearthly pull. The Shining-on-Sea? Sort of…. It’s cinema to make your head and soul ring.” —Rob Collin, The Telegraph.
(US/ 2019 / Directed by Robert Eggers)
R / 1 hr 50 mins.