The Lighthouse (2019)

What’s this? A surprise Thursday post? That’s right, it’s time for another month-long event! Every weekday in October I’ll have a horror movie post ready for you, dear reader(s). In previous years I’ve done personal things like “Chwineka Watches 31 Netflix Horror Movies for October” (or CW31NHMO for short), but ain’t nobody got time for posting EVERY day. Also I have far more streaming services at my fingertips, so movies will be coming from all over the internet. Anyway, let’s start the month off with something actually good: Robert Eggers’ second movie, The Lighthouse.

We follow Ephraim Winslow (Mr. Robert Pattinson) as he accepts a job working at a remote lighthouse with Thomas Howard (Willem Dafoe). Howard is a harsh boss, ordering Winslow around and not letting him anywhere near the light. As weeks go by the tensions subtly rise, leading to Winslow killing a seagull. This act seemingly summons a terrible storm that traps the two together for… days? Week? Time loses meaning as they drink heavily and go more and more mad. What’s real becomes questionable, and eventually the two men reach their bloody breaking points.

I sometimes am really bad at spotting themes in movies. It was embarrassingly late into watching The Babadook that I thought, “Oh! This is about depression!” But The Lighthouse‘s theme is more deific than I’m used to, so I’m giving myself a pass for not immediately spotting it. Pattinson’s Winslow represents Prometheus, the titan of Greek mythology who sought to steal fire from the gods. Winslow feels more and more resentful that Howard won’t let him near the Fresnel lens (that’s something else I learned!), leading to his pinnacle of madness. Prometheus was punished by Zeus to have his organs eaten by an eagle for all eternity, and the last scene of the movie is a direct reference to this grisly fate.

Man, Robert Eggers is on a streak! First rocking the horror genre with The VVitch and then The Lighthouse. His dedication to period accurate accents and dialogue might be his signature style, and it’s a wonderful touch. But it’s a little too early to confirm that, considering he only has two movies (and a handful of shorts) under his belt. Hm? What’s that? His next movie, The Northman, takes place in 10th century Iceland? Okay, period accurate accents and dialogue are absolutely his trademark.


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