Much of what we’ve heard about Robert Eggers’ follow-up to The Witch is how goddamned miserable it was to film. Stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson apparently had “very different” methods, and Pattinson hasn’t been shy about recounting how much he wanted to punch Eggers in the face after five takes of getting sprayed in the face with a fire hose. Still, buzz around The Lighthouse has been good—our own A.A. Dowd described it as “a lunatic dark comedy of cabin fever and competitive machismo” in his Cannes dispatch. Now, it’s time for the rest of us to dip our toes into the lunacy of this “fantasy horror story set in the world of old sea-faring myths.”
The above trailer highlights the film’s eerie, black-and-white aesthetic, as well as its “severely squashed aspect ratio” and decidedly throwback vocal tics—Dafoe, especially, sounds clogged with storm clouds and salt. There’s plenty of rain, booze, and dancing, but the clip’s juxtaposition of chokeholds and bear hugs promises an exploration of manhood as it manifests in terrifying isolation.
The Lighthouse beckons on October 18, when it opens in New York and Los Angeles.