Review: The Lighthouse Limited Edition 4K UHD
4K UHD: The Lighthouse (2019)
Did you know dear reader, that there are 2 films called The Lighthouse, both based on the same incident in a Welsh lighthouse in the 1860s? That one, not as well known, THIS one however, is very well known down to its stellar cast (Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson) and hot director, Robert Eggers.
The Lighthouse is from a screenplay Eggars wrote with his brother Max Eggers based on an Edgar Allen Poe short of the same name. It tells the true (yes really) story of 2 wickies (lighthouse keepers) who are stuck on an island in Wales, who go mad and are found dead some weeks later.
The 1890’s America coast – as the old crew of 2 leave the Island, Ephraim Winslow (Pattinson) and Thomas Wake (Dafoe) take their place, and we see them as if posing for a photograph, in their thick woolly uniforms, ready to begin their month long shift at the islands Lighthouse.
Wake immediately begins ordering Winslow about, using this sort of old English, almost biblical ‘Pirate’ talk, while maintaining his dominance by continually farting (which is exactly what I do at 60MW Towers…Dave). Winslow is made to do all the shit menial jobs and not allowed to go near the light, because that’s Wakes domain. One evening Winslow spies on his boss and sees him naked before the light and…are those…tentacles?
Its rather hard to categorise The Lighthouse, as it is in turn a horror, a comedy, a drama, a thriller – and also a‘modern’ film that has been analysed to death.
I’d call it a ‘Folk Horror’ in the tradition of all that came before – The Wicker Man, Blood on Satan’s Claw and of course, Eggers own wonderful The Witch. It takes its influences from myth, legend, stories and poetry. Mermaid vaginas, masturbation, sex, sexuality and drinking meths when the whiskey runs out, no wonder they’re both bonkers.
Its story is simple, 2 men, wrestling for power, up to God knows what, some homoeroticism, drinking far too much and slowly going mad because one of them, against better advice, whacks an annoying seagull to death. They descend into madness, but are they mad, or is just one of them? Ahh we’ll never know.
Almost surreal, but never boring, The Lighthouse is a film that washes horror over you, you WANT to see that Mermaids fanny, you can’t help yourself, and when you do see it, why it’s beautiful, you could fuck it then eat it for dinner.
The 2 central performances are of course wonderful, we all know Dafoe is amazing, but then so is Pattinson. The way the film looks is also amazing, as is the language spake by Wakes. It’s just one of those films that should have you scratching your head in puzzlement, but nope, it’s a whole thing, all there and it doesn’t matter if you don’t know about Prometheus.
This new 4K Arrow Films release is exactly how the film should be seen and heard, the blacks (the film is B&W) are deep but have definition and it’s just the right side of grainy, while the sound is as pin sharp as the mermaid’s shriek.
Of course, this being Arrow it has a great set of extras including several by the director himself.
A great film, and a great package from Arrow.
- 4K (2160p) Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible), approved by director Robert Eggers
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Brand new audio commentary by authors Guy Adams and Alexandra Benedict
- Audio commentary by co-writer/director Robert Eggers
- Art of Darkness: Making The Lighthouse – a brand new, in-depth documentary on the film, its production, themes and influences, featuring new interviews with co-writer/director Robert Eggers, director of photography Jarin Blaschke, production designer Craig Lathrop, costume designer Linda Muir and authors Guy Adams and Alexandra Benedict
- The Lighthouse Next Door: The Consuming House Tale of Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse – a brand new visual essay on the film and its folklore influences by author and critic Kat Ellinger
- The Lighthouse: A Dark & Stormy Tale – a three-part documentary on the making of the film
- Deleted scenes
- Two theatrical trailers
- Image gallery
- Limited edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jeffrey Alan Love
- Limited edition 60-page perfect bound book featuring new writing on the film by Simon Abrams, Wickham Clayton, Martyn Conterio and Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
- Fold-out double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jeffrey Alan Love
- Six double-sided collector’s postcards
Review by Tina from a disc kindly supplied by Arrow Films via Fetch Publicity.