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


Robert Eggers
381 ( 9)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 34 wins & 132 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Robert Pattinson ... Thomas Howard
Willem Dafoe ... Thomas Wake
Valeriia Karaman ... Mermaid
Logan Hawkes ... Ephraim Winslow
Kyla Nicolle Kyla Nicolle ... Woman on the Rocks
Shaun Clarke Shaun Clarke ... Departing Wickie
Pierre Richard Pierre Richard ... Departing Assistant Wickie
Preston Hudson Preston Hudson ... Tender Mate
Jeffrey Cruts Jeffrey Cruts ... Tender Mate (as Jeff Cruts)


As the wavering cry of the foghorn fills the air, the taciturn former lumberjack, Ephraim Winslow, and the grizzled lighthouse keeper, Thomas Wake, set foot in a secluded and perpetually grey islet off the coast of late-19th-century New England. For the following four weeks of back-breaking work and unfavourable conditions, the tight-lipped men will have no one else for company except for each other, forced to endure irritating idiosyncrasies, bottled-up resentment, and burgeoning hatred. Then, amid bad omens, a furious and unending squall maroons the pale beacon's keepers in the already inhospitable volcanic rock, paving the way for a prolonged period of feral hunger; excruciating agony; manic isolation, and horrible booze-addled visions. Now, the eerie stranglehold of insanity tightens. Is there an escape from the wall-less prison of the mind? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


There is enchantment in the light. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


10 days before filming was due to start, production company New Regency tried to convince director Robert Eggers to shoot on wide screen because the film sets were "too beautiful" to not be shown on full scale. See more »


Thomas Wake: Should pale death with treble dread / make the ocean caves our bed, / God who hear'st the surges roll, / deign to save our suppliant soul.
See more »


Referenced in Evening Urgant: Gérard Depardieu/Dzhizus (2020) See more »


How We Got Back To The Woods Last Year
Performed by Robert Pattinson
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User Reviews

Let's just be honest here
24 December 2019 | by stephtkaczuk-80814See all my reviews

This is precisely the type of film that will garner equal amounts of unbridled praise by the arthouse diehards, as well as criticism (and likely rejection) from a lot of other viewers. My opinion lies somewhere in the middle. I give it 6 stars for the undeniably outstanding acting (obviously, Dafoe)... and Pattinson is very impressive. Something new, yes. Effective at mood-setting, check. The b&w filming, the shots, the scenery itself... even the set, the old dilapidated coastal shack, all excellent. The dynamic between the two characters is raw and real. Is it a thought-provoking free-fall into insanity? Maybe. But... there is a such a fine line between "arthouse", trying something different, leaving much up to subjectivity and imagination, and... just trying a bit too hard. Mermaid labia? Hmmm. But, if part of the definition of a cinematic "success" is evoking emotion, then mission accomplished. Total despair, pity, fear, disgust, and a general feeling of creepery, all there.

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Release Date:

1 November 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lighthouse See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$427,797, 20 October 2019

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.19 : 1
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