SPOLIERS ARE AHEAD SO IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE PLEASE STOP READING NOW.
The Lighthouse was a film that turned out to be something I was not expecting. First and foremost, the presentation of the movie is something that I am not used to in the slightest. It was shot in a 4.3, meaning that it is on a much smaller screen, and it was in black and white, making it appear like a much older movie. This really gave the movie a new perspective for me as someone who is recently getting more into the movie scene.
Now the movie focuses on these two lighthouse keepers, Thomas Wake and Ephriam Winslow, and their time together over the four week period of their job. Wake, being the senior of the men, takes care of the light itself, while allocating all the jobs of hard labour to Winslow. During their stay, Winslow seems to find a small figurine of a mermaid, which starts all these weird visions and dreams, seemingly going mad.
Where the plot really starts to thicken is the day before they are supposed to leave. While investigating the bloody water, Winslow gets attacked by a one-eye seagull. He then grabs the seagull and beats it to a pulp pretty much. This begins a shift in the weather to where the boat coming to pick them up does not because of a storm.
Que when the physiological horror story begins. The men get drunk and begin having these moments where they are the best of friends and then moments where they want to kill each other. They have a very interesting relationship, and it shows that the stress of being stuck somewhere with someone can break you. As they continue, their truths each come out. Winslow admits that his real name is Thomas Howard and that he witnessed Winslow dying and not doing anything about it. The men began attacking each other in an attempt to escape that turns south.
Towards the end of the movie, the moment where Winslow snaps, is seeing the Wake’s logs, recording all Winslow’s infractions, and saying that he should get severance without pay. During a confrontation, Winslow snaps and beats Wake into submission before he buries him alive. Winslow then goes up to the lantern room, which he was denied access to earlier. Winslow gazes into the mirrored interior in ecstasy and let's out a distorted scream as the light brightens, before falling down the lighthouse steps. And the last scene is a little graphic so I will leave it at that.
This movie was genius in how it had an obvious underlying religious/purgatory feel, where Winslow is sent there to admit and be punished for his sins. This movie really has a theme that has not been done too often or in this style. It showed how one’s mind can really be the worst enemy and punish you for things you did not even know you felt guilty for.
Also, the movie plays off an idea of Greek Mythology with the story of Prometheus. Prometheus stole fire from the Gods and brought it down to Earth. As punishment, Zeus had Prometheus chained to a rock and an eagle would come every day and rip out/eat Prometheus’ organs. Now this translates almost directly to the end of the movie when Winslow finally gets to the bright light he has been after all along, he is violently thrown from it, down the stairs of the lighthouse. And then the final scene is really just a copy of the Prometheus torture.
If you are into a different style and presentation of movie then this is a great storyline to watch. Also it is just so uncommon to see a movie lately that is in black and white print.