Movie Review: The Lighthouse is no Frighthouse

By Ignacio Perez ’20

The Lighthouse, directed by Robert Eggers, is quite shocking, but not in the way one might expect when watching a horror movie. That’s because The Lighthouse isn’t a horror movie but a sickening tale of betrayal and insanity. There is no monster or murderer. There is only madness and monotony.  Eggers previously directed The Witch, is by far one of my favorite horror movies. It primarily uses dialogue and a pulsating score to insight fear in a similar way to The Lighthouse, but in the end The Lighthouse becomes too muddled in all its themes to deliver as well as The Witch. 

The Lighthouse gets too tangled up with trying to convey delusion, isolation, insanity, and companionship, so much so that it loses the tension Eggers creates in the first act by trying to sprinkle all these different themes in the second act. Eggers hand slips and he loses the suspense he has been building up by embellishing the second act. 

 The movie stars Robert Pattison and Willem Dafoe. They both deliver chilling performances that inspire the most desolate of emotions in the audience. The desperation conveyed in Pattinson’s face throughout the movie speaks volumes on the multiple themes Eggers tries to promote, but those themes ruin the movie. 

Overall, The Lighthouse falls short thematically in comparison to The Witch, which is much more direct in its themes, but the former is beautifully shot, well-acted, and perfectly utilizes a forever memorable, pounding score.