The Lighthouse. Have you heard of it? It’s a critically-acclaimed (91% on Rotten Tomatoes) visionary masterpiece according to film critics. At a very modest budget of about 4 million, it’s made about 11 million domestically, and almost 15 worldwide. And as a small release from indie darling A24, it’s probably profitable.
Now I took a shit on A24 for their handling of Uncut Gems. But this time, I’m not sure whether to praise them, or laugh at them.
Because the story isn’t about why you should see The Lighthouse. The real story is the opposite. This is the worst excuse for a movie in years. This is exactly why you should never listen to “film critics” (not a real job, btw).
This is the second film from director Robert Eggers, after The Witch. You may remember that one also was beloved by critics. But guess what audiences thought? Yup, they thought it was shit.
Here’s the disconnect – “critics” love Eggers and his films because they are artful. That’s the only reason, despite whatever else they babble about in an attempt to sound smart. Critics recognize that Eggers has an artful eye, and it’s true – every shot in The Lighthouse is beautifully composed.
But he’s a walking artsy-fartsy film student cliche. Seriously, I just need someone to tell me he wears a beret. The film is even black and white, the framing is an unusual choice, and of course, the entire movie is a fucking fever dream. The picture attached to this article explains just as much as the 110-minute movie. Not kidding.
None of it makes any sense – under the guise of two men losing their sanity. But guess what? If NONE of it makes sense than NONE of it matters. Ambiguity is great as long as there’s enough context to connect some semblance of a story, even if it’s open to interpretation. Watching an artsy-artsy fever dream on the other hand is a waste of time.
That’s why audiences hate you and your movies, Robert Eggers. You’re that guy. That guy we all knew in school. You think you deserve respect for the weirdness you crap out and call “art”. Yes, you have an artistic eye – like a painter. Can someone PLEASE take away his camera and just give him a fucking paintbrush? Your shit movie would make much more sense as a painting. In fact, it would probably work much better that way. And as a bonus, you wouldn’t piss people off by wasting two hours of their lives. Everybody wins!
This is not the fault of the actors by any means. Actors are drawn to weird shit so they can stretch as artists. Fine. Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe actually give very strong (if pointless) performances here.
No, this mess falls squarely on that snobby kid from film school, who thinks he’s smarter, better, and more talented than you – when in fact all he is is a tired cliche. You wanna impress everyone? Either learn how to tell a story, or pick up a paintbrush.
Until then, fuck off.