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The Lighthouse

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The Lighthouse is a magnificent nightmare. Oppressive angles, stark shadows, crashing noise and roaring characters assail the viewer like an ocean maelstrom. The onslaught is never-ending, as lighthouse keepers Thomas Howard (Robert Pattinson) and Thomas Wake (Willem Dafoe) trade shifts, plates, bottles, insults and, increasingly, blows both psychological and physical. Meanwhile, the space around them becomes increasingly distorted, whether by mermaids, their own minds or demented seagulls is anybody’s guess. After the taught sparseness of The Witch, director Robert Eggers delivers something equally unsettling but far more overt. Yet the source of the discomfort is rarely clear, beyond the escalating certainty that the two men trapped together in a giant phallus are going stark raving mad. Come the end of the film, you can understand why, and might feel that way yourself.


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