Robert Eggers’s directorial debut, The Witch, was marketed as a horror flick, but ended up being more of a beautifully-rendered psychological examination of the life under the religious zealot grip of 17th century colonial New England (or so I recall, as I watched 90 percent of it with my hands over my eyes, waiting for the horror to hit). I’m not quite sure where Eggers’s followup, The Lighthouse, will fall on the horror scale, but based on the above trailer, it will certainly be....strange.
Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe star as two lighthouse keepers on a “remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s,” according to the film’s IMDB page, and it looks like all that sea air and isolation drives them a tad bonkers. Vulture’s report from Cannes (some spoilers) describes “copious scenes of intense masturbation” (to a mermaid sculpture, no less) and some light-hearted bird murder.
And though they left the masturbation out of the trailer, there are lots of bugs, accents, hugs, big crashing waves, and apparent descents into madness, if any of that entices you—if not, rave reviews from Cannes might, plus the fact that Dafoe’s never met a scene he hasn’t owned to all hell.
The Lighthouse is out on October 18. Perhaps I’ll watch this one with my eyes open.