Review: The Lighthouse (15)

Katerina Vasilaki reviews the Oscar nominated film The Lighthouse.

Katerina Vasilaki
3rd February 2020
Image: IMDB

The Lighthouse, directed by Robert Eggers is a film equally disturbing and raw in many aspects. To begin with, it contains nudity, violence, sexually explicit scenes as well as allusions to rape, therefore it is unsuitable for anyone who might be distressed by that imagery.

Writer/director Robert Eggers previously directed the modern cult classic mytery/horror The Witch in 2015. Image:IMDB

The film stars Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson, and Valeriia Karama, in particular Robert Pattinson deliver amazing performance. He is mostly known for his role as Edward in Twilight and has been trying for years to step out of that shadow, and I must say that he has managed it. His accent was brilliant, and he was very transparent, showcasing his character’s emotions in the best way.

Another element worth noticing is the role sound plays in the narrative. The editing of the film is brilliant, and the choices the director made, from the use of 1.19:1 Movietone ration with the square framing of early sound movies, to the camera movement, to it being black and white, truly creates an admirable body of work.

To my mind, the problem with the film laid mostly with the story and the script. All those elements were unfortunately used to conceal the lack of real plot or conflict. For film lovers or people who are intrigued by techniques, this film is very educative, and the acting is truly brilliant, nevertheless, at the end of the day, it was unable to save the overall sense that there was something missing.


Though the tension builds up by the end of the movie, it is purely a collage of plot points that collectively fail to create a narrative that speaks to the audience, and for that reason, to my mind, it deserves 2/5 stars. Sadly, the script brought down all the strikingly beautiful elements of this film.

Rating: 2/5

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