A24 continues their streak of ominous and tantalizing trailers with their latest for Robert Eggers’ sophomore release, The Lighthouse. Even with the trailer’s release, we still don’t know much about the film beyond the fact that it focuses on two lighthouse keepers, Thomas (Willem Dafoe) and Ephraim (Robert Pattinson), in 1890s New England. This film is my most anticipated film of 2019 and the trailer has only increased that feeling tenfold.
The trailer has lots in common with the trailer for Eggers’ previous film, The Witch (2016); it features spine chilling music, weirdly foreboding singing and dancing, absolutely stunning visuals, and a voiceover from a gruff-sounding man with a strong accent. The plot is decidedly harder to narrow down based on this trailer, however, but this is a fact I’m not complaining about. We see Ephraim’s and Thomas’ arrival, their suspicions about each other, and some eerie sea imagery including quick flashes of a mermaid and some kind of tentacled beast(s). The most interesting frame, for me, comes at just over a minute in where we see a shot of Pattinson’s character either fighting a tentacled beast or revealing that he is one.
Conjecture about the plot aside, Eggers’ is a talented filmmaker who crafts his pieces with precision focus and an unbelievably deft hand, so we know that we are in for a treat with this one. To make it even better, Dafoe appears to be giving what looks like a career-best performance, with Pattinson continuing to showcase his growing acting talents and his penchant for signing on to unique projects. Shot primarily in Canada’s East Coast, the film promises to be another psychologically-taxing folk tale where the roaring seas of Nova Scotia play as major a role in the film as our two powerhouse leading men.
Although I’m hoping to catch The Lighthouse during its North American premiere at TIFF in September, it is set for wide release on October 18, 2019. Check out the trailer below!