The article you’re about to read is from our reporters doing their important work — investigating, researching, and writing their stories. We want to provide informative and inspirational stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community. Journalism requires lots of resources. Today, our business model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers’ businesses have been impacted. That’s why the SC Times is now turning to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insider’s program here. Thank you.

By Megan Bianco

There really are two types of movie viewers. There are those who live and breathe film, absorb the history and production aspects of the features and study every frame on screen. And there are those who just want to be entertained. Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse was one of those times where I could see both ends of the spectrum.

Shot in glorious 32mm black-and-white film with a retro 1.19:1 aspect ratio, the film centers on two lighthouse keepers in 1890 on a tiny island during a treacherous recurring storm. Ephraim (Robert Pattinson) and Thomas (Willem Dafoe) gradually drive each other insane from the isolation and their jarring personality differences. While trying not to lose his patience and sanity with the mercurial old man, Ephraim also begins to sense something supernatural might be haunting the lighthouse.

The Lighthouse. Photo: Courtesy of A24 Films

On a strictly technical level, The Lighthouse is very effective and breathtaking. You feel as though you’re watching a moving, vintage photograph with the cinematography. The atmosphere, tone and direction are also genuinely unsettling, and the acting from the two leads is superb, particularly Pattinson’s. But like with Eggers’ previous indie hit and instant cult classic, The Witch (2015), I left the film emotionally cold. By the end of both pictures, I didn’t particularly feel like I cared about the characters or what was going to happen next. Granted, Eggers is the type of director who is more about a mood than a plot. But sometimes that can be a divisive factor and not work as a viewing experience. So, in this case, I’m with the popcorn and candy crowd.

Trustworthy, accurate and reliable local news stories are more important now than ever. Support our newsroom by making a contribution and becoming a subscribing member today.

About The Author Staff

comments (0)

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>