July 30, 2019

'The Lighthouse' Trailer Reveals One of the Year's Craziest Movies

The first trailer for Robert Eggers' second feature film "The Lighthouse" is here -- and so are we for this black-and-white psycho-horror masterpiece.

Okay, I shouldn't get ahead of myself. But come on...can you blame me? We're talking about the director that brought us The Witch back in 2015, a time when the only thing that scared you at the movies was the price of a ticket.

And now we've got another from that creative mind? Excuse my excitement, but -- I'm excited. A24, 35mm black-and-white film (shot in Academy ratio!!), classic horror aesthetics, a spooky lighthouse full of seafarin' men played by Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson? This movie can't get into our eyeballs fast enough. 

Check out the trailer below:

The Lighthouse, which was shot on B&W 35mm film, stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, who play an old lighthouse keeper named Thomas and a young drifter named Ephraim, respectively. Thomas decides to take Ephraim in as his apprentice, teaching him how to keep a lighthouse, and then...it appears things get a little weird, or a lot weird, as they seemingly descend into madness. 

Granted, I wasn't fortunate enough to get a screener for the entire movie, so all I have to go on is the trailer, but Eggers' sophomore effort seems to capture a lot of what we liked about his first film: truly interesting story, inescapable tone, and unnerving (if not totally terrifying) visuals.

However, where The Lighthouse seems to depart from The Witch is in the way the environment is represented aesthetically. Compare DP Jarin Blaschke’s stark, dramatic portrayals of the untamed colonial New England landscape in The Witch with the gritty, claustrophobic walls of The Lighthouse. The wide-open wilderness of un-colonized America in The Witch seems almost dreamlike compared to the isolated briny blackness of The Lighthouse. And the choice by Eggers to shoot in the classic Academy aspect ratio is a bold and unorthodox move. When your first film cost $4 million and mints $40 million at the box office, you can take big visual swings like that. (But time will tell if theatrical audiences are fans of the visual aesthetic.)

The trailer is all about tone and mood, which the unique visuals sell. You get the sense that Thomas and Ephraim never leave that black rock, that they're anchored to the lighthouse along with its tempestuous fits. Maybe it'll prove to be too much for them...if we know anything about classical horror and German expressionism, the screen will be able to tell us for sure.

The Lighthouse hits theaters October 18th, 2019. 

What did you think of this trailer? Are you excited for Eggers' follow-up to The Witch? Let us know in the comments section!     

Your Comment