Robert Eggers, the lauded writer-director behind the wildly debated horror entry, The Witch, has returned with his much-anticipated follow-up, The Lighthouse. Film audiences who debated the merits of his previous outing will have as much to discuss/debate when it comes to his latest film. As for me, I was never a tremendous fan of The Witch although I realized it wasn’t without its merits. The Lighthouse is a film that shows signs of growth on Eggers part as a filmmaker and it’s a much more involving effort than his previous film. It isn’t perfect but there’s much to admire on display here.

Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson in The Lighthouse.

The plot of the film is the sort thing that looks like pure perfection on paper. Two men, Thomas (Willem Dafoe, giving a breathtaking performance) and Ephraim (Robert Pattinson, also good) are assigned as lighthouse keepers on a secluded island. The dramatic possibilities are certainly inherent and writer/director Eggers fulfills some of that even if he doesn’t dot every I and cross every T.

It’s pretty evident early on that things are not going to end well for one or both of our protagonists. The seclusion leads to sexual tension, imbibing of large quantities of alcohol for one of the men and visions that may or may not be real. There’s a real feeling of suspense and dread that hangs over the entire film and you can’t help but breathlessly wait to see how it’s all going to come crashing down. How it eventually does is what makes The Lighthouse worth an investigation at the very least.

Lighthouse is currently showing in Charlotte theaters.

Questions or comments? Filmfan1970@hotmail.comThe Lighthouse (***)