Otherworldly 'The Lighthouse' Trailer Looks Even Scarier Than 'The Witch'

Robert Eggers returns for another round of terror in his sophmore horror.

If there was ever a movie to prove just how terrifying “a dark and stormy night” can actually be, it’s The Lighthouse. The new horror thriller from writer/director Robert Eggers, whose last film The Witch (2015) has become a Halloween staple, stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as two isolated lighthouse keeper who — spoilers? — slowly become mad.

On Tuesday, A24 released the trailer for The Lighthouse. Although plot details are vague, Dafoe and Pattinson star as two “wickies” in 1890s New England who discover an enchanted presence in their lonely corner of the world. The film is slated for release on October 18.

Eerie, bizarre, and reminiscent of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos (see all those octopus tentacles strangling Pattinson?), The Lighthouse is primed to be one of the best horror movies of the year. That’s saying a lot in 2019, which has already blessed horror fans with Midsommar, Us, Chucky, and a new school throwback B-movie in Crawl.

But The Lighthouse looks like something else, and I mean that literally. Unlike most films today, it was shot in 35 millimeter in black and white with a 4:3 aspect ratio. Eggers and cinematographer Jarin Blaschke eschew the look of movies that now shoot digitally in super-wide 8K (Midsommar, for example), imbuing a distinct 19th-century flavor of terror in the film.

The Lighthouse Robert Pattinson Willem Dafoe
Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson star in Robert Eggers' 'The Lighthouse.'

There’s just something about the way The Lighthouse tells its story of fear, madness, and masculinity without any of the pristine resolutions of other 2019 films that gives it that otherworldly texture. And while only his second film, Eggers is quickly forming his own language of fear with both The Witch and now The Lighthouse. Aside from their old world period settings, both films flirt with the supernatural that dwell at the edge of human existence.

Based on early positive reviews from the Cannes Film Festival, Pattinson and Dafoe deliver thunderous performances that may be the best of their respective careers. World of Reel, praised Dafoe, saying: “…Dafoe who steals the show. His Efraim is damn-near horrific to behold, a behemoth of a presence with his unkempt beard, ridiculous pirate accent and toxic machoism.”

Collider, meanwhile, highlighted Pattison, writing: “There are moments where Pattinson is so transformative it’s jarring. You simply never thought he had it in him.” If you’re still somehow on the fence of Pattinson becoming Batman, maybe The Lighthouse will finally convince you, if Good Time hadn’t already.


The Lighthouse hits theaters on October 18.

Media via A24