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The Lighthouse

Willem Dafoe’s character Thomas is a lighthouse keeper, and Robert Pattinson’s Winslow is the new guy assigned to assist Dafoe for a 4-week duty period. This is Winslow’s first gig; he is a drifter who moves from job to job. Both men have histories, and as the weather turns nastier and both men become cooped up in their house on the island, both slowly slip into madness. This is an excellent film that is a credit to its craft. The film is shot in black and white and, combined with a great score, gives the overall film a moody, claustrophobic, and eerie feel. There is a constant sense of dread that slowly builds as the men lose their minds. The lighting is phenomenal and combined with some great facial closeups, it is mostly difficult to tell the actors playing the roles.  The acting is exceptional; both completely immerse themselves into their roles and play their characters boldly and unrestrained. I was most impressed with Pattinson, who held his own alongside a marvelous Dafoe. Both are award-worthy performances. I really enjoyed the screenplay – the story is a mesmerizing study in masculinity and sexual desire that has no outlet. The film is beautiful, suspenseful, difficult, and poetic all at once. Big thumbs up from me. The film is psychological horror at its best; I don’t think it will be for everyone, but for those who love arthouse films, definitely put this one on your list. (2019; 4.5 Stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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