The Lighthouse ★★★★

80

Two weathered souls.

A folk-lore history resurrected and displayed via an assortment of textures - splintered wood, scruffy beards, itchy wool, bottles upon bottles of whiskey, wet rocks, seagulls and mermaids and the eternal depth of the sea. The only thing scarier than its surreal horror logic is how succinctly it confronts the burden of labor and its dynamics of power. Willem Dafoe is on a god-tier level, while Robert Pattinson brilliantly plays along until eventually deciding he's had enough. If I had a complaint, it would be the tension between it being a full-on slapstick farce and an existential terror picture, especially as I found some of the traditional genre elements to be just that - traditional. Its horror is clearly within the interior, and I would've preferred less of an inclination to attach the evil of bosses and employees to mermaids and Davy Jones. More to parse through on a second-watch, of course, but ultimately a few steps away from 'masterpiece' status and yet still utterly absorbing. Robert Eggers' commitment to poetic, flowery language is so easy to get lost in, and it had me drifting off to my own private lighthouse island, the images and sounds beckoning my interest to a fever-pitch, with the energy deflating to the tune of flatulence.

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