The Lighthouse. Robert Eggers, the Sutherland Award-winning director of The Witch, returns to terrorise the LFF with his masterful maritime shocker.
Leaving Canada behind for the unforgiving terrains of the New England coast, Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson) reluctantly arrives at the begrimed lighthouse where he will work for the next four weeks. Greeted with gruff hostility by Tom Wake (Willem Dafoe), a veteran seafarer with whom he is obliged to share these uncomfortably close quarters, the pair quickly establish a volatile dynamic, with Tom the baiting slave-driver and Ephraim his battered lackey. As the young apprentice tends to the building’s more onerous and demeaning demands, Tom proudly presides over the mythical light. And with the slow passing of each punishing day, Ephraim’s resentment grows. But when he learns of the mysterious fate which befell his master’s former assistant, a creeping sense of fear and paranoia also begins to stir. Once seen, never forgotten, this hypnotic fusion of beauty and brutality is truly the stuff of nightmares, boasting extraordinary performances from Dafoe and Pattinson as the feuding seadogs, wrapping their scowling mouths around Robert and Max Eggers’ knotty period text with unwavering gusto. Following his remarkable debut The Witch, Eggers continues to prove himself one of contemporary cinema’s most audacious and innovative filmmakers – finding ways entirely of his own of terrifying his audiences.
Premiered at the BFI London Film Festival on 5th October 2019.