Few horror movies knocked me out immediately the way Robert Eggers’ 2015 folk horror film The Witch did. It was such a profound spiral into distrust and paranoia with a very real supernatural element at the center. Eggers proved himself adept at minimalist filmmaking with creepy locations and historically accurate accents and speech. It all seems so weirdly believable. A24, which distributed The Witch, have picked up Eggers’ follow-up and it looks right in keeping with the style and mood of the former. Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson go slowly insane in the teaser for The Lighthouse.
The Lighthouse is an “hypnotic and hallucinatory tale of two lighthouse keepers on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s”. There is no more lonely profession than lighthouse keeper. It’s absolutely relatable that someone would lose their mind having to sit there all day with only a second very grizzled man to talk to. I like Dafoe’s line, “how long have we been on this rock? Five weeks? Two days?” It immediately tells you all you need to know about the isolation and cabin fever.
There also seems to be some level of supernatural or cosmic horror. It could very easily all be in the characters’ mind, but that’s almost worse. Glimpses in the teaser of tentacles and mermaids are already haunting. Also Dafoe’s voice repeating “Why’d ya spill yer beans?” is incredibly weird. Is he talking about actual beans? Could he mean secrets? And what a weird sentence to repeat! I truly can’t wait for this one.
The Lighthouse premiered this spring at the Cannes Film Festival to rave reviews and high praise. It opens in New York and LA on October 18 with expansion to follow. Pray your town is chosen for expansion.