Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson drive one another up the wall in the latest trailer for The Witch director Robert Eggers' new horror film, The Lighthouse. Much like his debut feature, Eggers' The Lighthouse revolves around a small group of people struggling to hold onto their sanity in an isolated and historical setting. In this case, it's a lighthouse on a remote New England island in the 1890s, with Dafoe and Pattinson starring as a pair of lighthouse keepers who begin to crumble under the duress of their solitude, and soon find themselves confronted by their worst nightmares.
The Lighthouse premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and was praised by critics for its rich performances and psycho-drama, in addition to its technical qualities (namely, the crackly black and white cinematography). It only just screened at the Toronto International Film Festival a few days ago, and was once again met with all-but universal acclaim from the members of the press who saw it. Now, with just over a month to go before The Lighthouse hits theaters, a second trailer has been unveiled.
A24 is distributing The Lighthouse domestically and will release the film in New York and Los Angeles mid-October, prior to its rollout nationwide over the weeks that follow. You can check out its new trailer and poster in the space below.
Much like The Lighthouse's first trailer, this new preview combines clips from the film with pull-quotes by critics singing its praises. The second trailer plays up The Lighthouse's dark comedy more than its predecessor, as it shows Dafoe and Pattinson's characters asking one another "What?" back and forth to the point where it's more comical than unnerving. At the same time, it's full of close-ups of the two lighthouse keepers looking increasingly haunted and unhinged, lest anyone think cabin fever is all (weird) fun and games. There are also glimpses of a mysterious tentacled limb and a rotting corpse, leaving it to viewers to decided for themselves how much of what they're watching is real, and how much of it is something the characters are hallucinating.
Much like The Witch, The Lighthouse seems to excel at immersing viewers in its wretched and often bizarre setting. Thematically, the film appears to be a deconstruction of machismo and masculinity, as one of the pull-quotes in this new trailer and poster even points out. That falls in line with Eggers' work on The Witch, which examined the patriarchal structure of its Puritan family through a similar blend of dark humor, psycho-drama, and dreamlike horror. The Lighthouse, like The Witch, might be too slow-moving and out-there to crossover with mainstream audiences, but ought to please those who prefer their horror on the stranger side anyway.
- The Lighthouse (2019) release date: Oct 18, 2019