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The Lighthouse I’m Spilling the Beans... This film is Great! Grade: B+

Source: IMDB


Ah I've been waiting for months for this film to arrive and my God I'm so happy that time is finally here! Before we start let's just say my experience with The Lighthouse did not go off to a strong start, it has nothing to do with the film, just the experience. The audio was awfully loud, as you can even hear static from any time waves were hitting or characters were walking. For a second I thought Robert Eggers was making this film, like it was shot in the early 1930's as I thought, "Hmm, neat." But then it hit me when the characters started to talk... You can not understand a damn word they were saying, the volume was so high, that the audio made the characters have unrecognizable voices, it was pretty bad but me and the audience had a nice laugh. Luckily they got the audio correct this time and even restarted the film... So at least I'll have a nice memory. The Lighthouse tells a story about two lighthouse keepers Thomas (Willem Dafoe) and Ephraim (Robert Pattinson). One being a loud mouth sailor and the other likes to stay quiet and keep to himself. Thomas is the only one allowed in the lighthouse, as Ephraim begins to grow suspicion of what is really going on in the lighthouse, while some other crazy unexplainable occurrences happen. The plot may sound simple because it's presented simple, but it's filled with many metaphorical meanings behind every element this film offers. Let's start off with the Cinematography... My God it’s fantastic. You can tell Robert Eggers is paying homage to classic cinema, like place this film in that specific time period Eggers was inspired by and you can't tell the different. The black and white picture looks excellent, very clean and it provides the tone this film is going for. The aspect ratio was fairly interesting, but has a clever charm in presentation. The Score in this film is pretty good, sounds like I'm on a pirate ship. The cast of this film: Perfection and I'm serious. You know I thought Joaquin Phoenix had the Oscar in his bag easily... But him going up against Willem Dafoe this year is going to be a battle. That being said: Willem Dafoe in my opinion gave the best performance of his entire career, he was flat out brilliant. Robert Eggers brought out a new breed out of Willem Dafoe with this performance, you can barely recognize that it's him playing this role, he nailed this sailor accent perfectly and I guarantee you no one could play this part as great as him. I personally loved this character Thomas, he's a certified drunken whack job that just loves to talk... He's annoying in all the right places. Robert Pattinson gave a fantastic performance as well, this dude is just awesome. I like the character Ephraim, I enjoy how quiet minded he is, as well as he plays a mystery in the story telling, as you try to pick apart what he's thinking in his mind. The on and off conversations between Thomas and Ephraim was extremely enjoyable, two complete opposites whom start to lose their mind after being with each other on this lonely island long enough. I do have a couple flaws to give. I found it unclear between the exchange with Thomas and Ephraim regarding whom they missed, so they can depart from the island. It could be that I didn't understand because the accents are so strong or that it wasn't explained throughly to my understanding. I found a couple things shown in this film to be unnecessary, won't spoil anything just excessive much. In 2016 Robert Eggers delivered a strong solid debut with the horror film The Witch, which surprisingly became the first A24 film I've ever bought... I mean you can't go wrong with $4 am I right?! Not only does Robert Eggers once again impresses with The Lighthouse, he also has improved from his debut... The film ROCKS! This film has a fair amount to offer than just being a psychological horror film, you can look at it as a thriller, drama, and even a comedy... It's a nice care package. The film's odd sense of humor totally works for this film, a nice few laugh out moments. Surprisingly enough I even laughed at the silly fart jokes... I typically don't laugh at them, but heck Eggers found a way to set up and release a pay off with them, very impressive. I believe the best comedic moment for me was with Thomas and Ephraim's heated exchange, I won't spoil but it was so damn funny. This film is quite intense in tone, that's thanks to the mystery element of not knowing what the hell you’re watching. Along with the disturbing imagery, you begin to question the mind of Ephraim as you're trying to figure out what's gotten into him? Why is he having these fantasies? What's his deal with being concern about Thomas and the lighthouse? The storytelling can be a turn off to some as this film encourages the audience to think, which for me is always a treat. But never once did I felt uninterested, I was always invested with the story as it's bold to telling an original yet unique twisted thriller. The film to me felt like a metaphor to sex addiction and how it really messes the mind up, while it also is a battle for some dealing with it. I see this film within the next ten years to be talked about non-stop, as many beloved film lovers examine their own theories of what it's all about as I look forward to that because this film deserves that treatment. Overall, The Lighthouse is a great film. I highly recommend this film, I believe this needs to be seen in a theater, it's an experience so go out and support it. Well done Robert Eggers, all I know is if you ever make your own version of Nosferatu.... I'm putting all my chips in it'll be the best monster film of all time. -Mitch Smietana


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