It looks entirely like an experimental expressionistic film, something created by an aspiring filmmaker in film school, maybe an ambitious effort to create something historical and strange like Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal. Is production and costume designer-turned-director Robert Eggers′ The Lighthouse simply a horror movie about two lighthouse keepers or can we hope for something bigger, more of metaphor and allegory? Shot in black and white 35mm film, the initial appeal is for anyone fond of classic black and white Gothic horror. It’s billed as psychological horror, but will it feature psychological horrors of today or stick with more reserved terrors that reflect its more tempting, classic appearance?
The Lighthouse stars character actor Willem Dafoe, and co-stars Robert Pattinson in his most public role since the announcement he will don the cowl and cape in a forthcoming Batman movie. Remember Michael Keaton releasing Beetlejuice, Clean and Sober, and The Dream Team with the new acting range spin to get us prepared to see him on the big screen as the dark knight detective? Genre niche popularity of the Twilight series and his brief stint in the Harry Potter franchise aside, Pattinson hasn’t had the universal appeal and popularity Keaton had with Night Shift and Mr. Mom, making him a household name. Can he convince fanboys and fangirls he has what it takes? Can audiences push the future aside and appreciate The Lighthouse for whatever Eggers is trying to do?
As for Eggers, who co-wrote the story with brother Max, this is his second film after the Anya Taylor-Joy vehicle The Witch. Here he’s trying that tried and re-tried convention of bringing black and white films to modern audiences. It often works, as it did with popular and critical success for Paper Moon, Young Frankenstein, Raging Bull, Dead Again, Schindler’s List, The Artist, Logan Noir, and Roma.
Take a look at this nicely moody trailer for The Lighthouse:
From A24 and Focus Features, look for The Lighthouse in limited release in theaters beginning October 18, 2019.