Jordan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Like the stairs in this lighthouse, the pursuit of power is both an uphill battle and a downward spiral. Among many things, this film is a tale of masculinity. These two men are fighting against what they are fighting for—dominance. Yet this passion is also their poison. What consumes their minds soon consumes their souls.
Eggers is clearly an artist, though it shows signs here of being his undoing. When things are so meticulously photographed and choreographed and lit, it begins to make everything feel calculated and overworked. The aesthetic here is effectively atmospheric, but it often makes the project feel at arm's length. The best moments come when Dafoe and Pattinson get to chew through the scenery rather than be swallowed by it.
My temptation is to try and figure this movie out, to fully grasp it. But perhaps just chewing on it is rewarding enough.