The wind has begun to howl, and promises to rise. The temperatures are frigidly bitter. The first snowflakes are falling, and soon I’ll be trapped alone in my home. Alone…my wife is a thousand miles away, I’m the sole guardian of this lonely old wreck. She promises to return next week, but can you trust the airlines? I may be here forever, abandoned. Did I say alone? Not quite. There is a sullen black cat here, watching me. There is madness in her eyes. We shall be howling at each other before this is over.
Then I think, am I in a Robert Eggers film?
So I decided to watch The Lighthouse to find out. Yep, definitely. My situation could be the premise for Eggers’ next film. Fortunately, I loved it, so bring it on — one of the best films of the year.
It felt much like The Witch, moody and atmospheric, with a growing sense of dread. You know no one is getting out alive, and it’s going to be their own paranoia and fear that destroys them. Every character is flawed, and those flaws just expand in the vacuum of their isolation until they all crumble under the weight of madness. Everyone is saturated by their environment — in the case of The Lighthouse, everyone is wet and cold, and you can almost smell the sea salt coming off the screen. There is a hint of the supernatural, but you can never quite be sure whether it’s real, or if it’s insanity, the best kind of spooky.
Well, I’ve got to get back to staring down the cat, and the liquor is already running low. The movie also has great tips for dealing with that situation…turpentine & honey, hmmm? We’ll have to try that, just before one of us staggers off into the blizzard to meet…check back later to find out.