‘The Lighthouse’ Trailer: The director of ‘The Witch’ brings his haunting touch to a remote island (in my homeland)!
Man, I’m ready for anything from the director of The Witch. But, a hauntingly atmospheric movie shot at the lighthouse I visited countless times as a kid? In my motherland of Nova Scotia? Doubly stoked.
Facial hair! Accents! A 1.19:1 aspect ratio! A heavy dose of “What the hell am I seeing?” It’s all here in the first trailer for The Lighthouse, the latest tale of terror from Robert Eggers, director of The Witch. In this black-and-white nightmare, Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe play old-timey lighthouse keepers on a remote island. Things go downhill pretty quickly. Watch the incredible, creepy and incredibly creepy The Lighthouse trailer below.
“Why’d ya spill yer beans?” croaks Willem Dafoe several times throughout this mysterious trailer for The Lighthouse. What’s he talking about? What beans have been spilled by his fellow lighthouse keeper – a “timberman” played by Robert Pattinson? I have no idea because this trailer does a great job of playing things close to the vest.
All we can gather from this trailer is that The Lighthouse will be sufficiently spooky, and also look amazing. Eggers shot this thing in boxy 1.19:1 aspect ratio that immediately recalls the very first sound films ever made. As a result, everything is squeezed into the frame, creating a deliciously devilish claustrophobic atmosphere, no doubt to meant to invoke the claustrophobic vibe of working in a lighthouse on a remote island.
“I shot in black and white 35mm negative,” Eggers said. “It’s very tactile; you can see every pore of the actors’ faces. It’s not supposed to be like an old film but it does reference them. The square format was great for filming lighthouses and we had a special lens made to create chromatic film. For the language, my brother and I read a lot of period texts to absorb the vibe of how people spoke. Obviously, Moby Dick is great literature and Melville’s language was an influence. Willem’s dialect was that of a Maine farmer and Robert’s was a sailor’s dialect. We had a book by Sarah Orne Jewett of stories that were transcribed using dialects and that was an important source for us.”
The Lighthouse is described as a “hypnotic and hallucinatory tale of two lighthouse keepers on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s.” I was a huge fan of Eggers’s The Witch, so I’m all-in on this. While it tells a historical horror story like The Witch, The Lighthouse looks a lot different – weirder, wilder. I can’t wait.
The Lighthouse debuted to rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival and will be heading to TIFF next month. It opens in New York and LA on October 18, 2019, with an expansion to follow.