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The Lighthouse (2019)

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1:27 | Trailer

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Two lighthouse keepers try to maintain their sanity while living on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s.

Director:

Robert Eggers
Reviews
Popularity
48 ( 21)

'The Lighthouse' Trailer With Directors' Commentary

Co-writer/director Robert Eggers takes stars Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe to the edge of sanity in The Lighthouse.

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5 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Willem Dafoe ... Thomas Wake
Robert Pattinson ... Ephraim Winslow
Valeriia Karaman Valeriia Karaman ... Mermaid
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Storyline

Two lighthouse keepers try to maintain their sanity while living on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There is enchantment in the light.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, nudity, violence, disturbing images, and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Filmnegah [Iran] | Official Site

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lighthouse See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$427,797, 20 October 2019

Gross USA:

$10,551,311

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,251,311
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.19 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When asked to describe the movie, director/writer Robert Eggers always used the same choice of words in every interview: "Nothing good can happen when two men are trapped alone in a giant phallus." See more »

Quotes

Thomas Wake: Yer fond of me lobster aint' ye? I seen it - yer fond of me lobster! Say it! Say it. Say it!
Ephraim Winslow: I don't have to say nothin'.
Thomas Wake: Damn ye! Let Neptune strike ye dead Winslow! HAAARK!
Thomas Wake: Hark Triton, hark! Bellow, bid our father the Sea King rise from the depths full foul in his fury! Black waves teeming with salt foam to smother this young mouth with pungent slime, to choke ye, engorging your organs til' ye turn blue and bloated with bilge and brine and can scream no more - only when he, crowned in cockle...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Best Horror Movies of 2019 (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Homeward Bound
Traditional
Performed by Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Wickies on the rock
17 October 2019 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. The opening sequence plays like something from 1920's era cinema. The chug-chug-chug of a boat slamming against the waves of an angry sea while birds flap and chirp alongside. We hear the wind and "feel" the severe ocean spray. Several minutes elapse before any word is spoken. Immediately noticeable is the nearly square aspect ratio ... the rarely (these days) seen 1.19:1 frame, making the black and white images appear both surreal and ominous.

All of the above makes perfect sense when we realize this is writer-director Robert Eggers' first feature film since his 2015 indie horror gem THE WITCH won dozens of festival awards. Mr. Eggers obviously has his own vision for projects, and his approach borders on experimental, eschewing conventional. He co-wrote this script with his brother Max, and evidently much was drawn from the actual journals of lighthouse keepers ... something that is evident in the vocabulary and the effects of solitude.

4-time Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe stars alongside Robert Pattison as the two men charged with a 4 week assignment of tending to a lighthouse. The film is set in 1890, and Dafoe plays Thomas Wake, the epitome of a salty old sea dog, replete with bad leg, hardcore Atlantic accent, and upside down pipe. Pattinson is Ephraim Winslow, the assistant Wickie, who faces non-stop demands from Wake, and initially maintains a quietness as he goes about his duties ... what Wake calls the 'doldrums.' We learn little about either man's past. For Wake, other than knowing his previous assistant went mad, the clue is when he mentions "13 Christmases spent at sea" costing him a family. For Ephraim, when Wake asks, "Tell me what's a timberman want with being a Wickie?" we get some insight into Ephraim's desired future.

Eggers has delivered the anti-buddy movie. It's a bleak, slow-motion race to insanity caused by being isolated with only one other person ... a person you aren't fond of. Only this is not a director or a film content with showing two men stuck on a storm-battered rock, as they slip towards insanity. No, we viewers are forced to experience some of these same feelings - how much of what we see is actually happening? It's mesmerizing and hypnotic, and the above-mentioned narrow screen aspect purposefully emphasizes the sense of confinement and claustrophobia.

With no color and only a couple of characters ... OK, 3 if you count the mermaid ...OK, 4 if you count the seagull ... the film still manages to pound us with sensory overload. We can barely process all we are seeing, despite relatively minimal 'typical' action. The black and white images are mostly just various shades of gray, and sunshine is non-existent. Cinematographer Jarin Blaschke (THE WITCH) embraces the dreariness by allowing the fog, lanterns, candles, wind, rain, and harsh elements to become characters unto themselves. However, nothing is in sync with our two leads. Composer Mark Korven fills the many lapses in dialogue with sounds and tones we haven't heard before, yet they fit perfectly here. This is also quite likely the first film to utilize farts and foghorns in harmony.

Director Eggers filmed this on Cape Forchu in Nova Scotia, and the extreme weather and less-than-welcoming terrain create quite the visuals - as do the faces of our two lead actors. Dafoe may never have chewed scenery so delightfully as he does here, and Pattinson starts slowly before delivering his best work - including a ferocious rant that is fascinating to watch and contrast to his character's first meal with Dafoe. Is this a horror film? A fantasy? Macabre comedy? There is simply no way to describe this other than bizarre. It's truly miserable cinema, and I loved every minute of it.


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