Lovecraft and the Lighthouse
Robert Eggers recently released his second film, the Lighthouse. His first film, the Witch, was an unsettling slow-burn horror movie that I’ve come to love from A24. I had very high hopes for the Lighthouse having heard how much he researched everything about the film, including the period dialogue, trade of a ‘wickie’, and unique camera lens used to capture a unique vision.
What I was most intrigued to see was the Lovecraftian existentialism alluded to in the trailer. Sadly, there are not many horror films that attempt to tackle the horror of the unknown, and even fewer that are able to accomplish that feat (2018s the Endless is one exception). I went in wanting Lovecraft and walked out confused, but in a good way? There wasn’t the Lovecraftian dread I wanted, but there was a sense of psychological claustrophobia mixed with Greek myth that provided an experience that was deep and fulfilling, just not in the way I expected.
Technically, the movie was stunning -- Willem Dafoe’s performance was among the best of his career, the lighting and camera work added to the atmosphere perfectly. What left me wanting more was to embrace the horror behind Lovecraft, not just the existential contemplation. I will definitely revisit the movie when it is released digitally. Oftentimes, as was the case with Suspiria (2018) and Hereditary, the second, third, and fourth viewing increases my enjoyment and appreciation of the film. I imagine the same will happen with the Lighthouse, and hopefully, I'll catch more Lovecraft with each re-watch.
Your friendly neighborhood Horror Enthusiast and Game Director,
- Matthew 😈