David Hettinger Staff Writer
On Oct. 18, “The Lighthouse” starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe was released. The film features two men who have been put in charge of maintaining a lighthouse but slowly descend into insanity due to the isolation.
One aspect of this movie that stands out is that it is filmed in black and white, making it look like a horror movie from the 1960s. Every image of this is incredible. Even from the opening scene, when the boat that drops off Pattinson on the island disappears over the horizon, there is an immediate sense of anxiety. This frame of the movie showed perfectly how real these character’s isolation is as both main characters are now stuck with only each other on this tiny island.
“The Lighthouse” is unlike any horror movie audiences see today. This is no mindless slasher flick or a bloody fight for survival. This movie is two men’s sanity breaking down bit by bit, keeping the audience glued to the screen watching, and waiting, until these characters snap. The story being told is horrifying, but in a psychological sense.
All of these feelings of tension and insanity are portrayed perfectly thanks to the incredible performances from Pattinson and Dafoe. Dafoe’s character was already an eccentric man from the very beginning. He has been in charge of the lighthouse before the movie began and seems to have already begun to go crazy from it. Pattinson’s performance is truly amazing.
People unfortunately associate Robert Pattinson with the Twilight franchise, as he played the sparkly vampire, Edward Cullen. This has people upset of him being cast as Batman in the upcoming reboot simply titled, “The Batman.” However, his performance in this movie truly showcases his range as an actor. His character started off as a quiet and stoic man who was simply looking for work. The resulting journey to insanity felt real. You feel every bit of frustration when he struggled with his daily routine. You feel his anger when Dafoe keeps yelling at him for doing the tiniest thing incorrectly. You feel every bit of the pain he goes through trying to maintain this lighthouse alongside another man who seems insane from the beginning. That is what makes the movie terrifying, due to Pattinson’s performance, and him showing just how a simple working man can go insane from loneliness.
Movies like “The Lighthouse” are rare in cinema simply because they are different. It is a kind of horror film that audiences are not used to. It looks like an old movie but feels very new. This movie is smart, intense, thought provoking, and the visuals are gorgeous enough to the point where it becomes difficult to look away from the screen. It is a masterpiece of horror and a true film making achievement.