BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

The Lighthouse (2019) - Blu-ray Review

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The Lighthouse (2019)

Watching wickie Ephraim Winslow, who is already having visions of mermaids and tentacled monsters, fly into a momentary fit of rage, grab a one-eyed seagull, and then beat it religiously against a cistern until it is beyond dead might be one of the most memorable scenes in The Lighthouse, a film that is stacked with moments and images that won't be soon forgotten or shaken off. 

"Haunting.  Mesmerizing.  Twisted.  And a whole lot of fun.  The Lighthouse hits all the right notes to create a hypnotic tale of supernatural madness."


Especially, when you consider that Winslow - who has been repeatedly warned by Wake that seagulls are really the souls of dead sailors - KNOWS what he is doing when he grabs for the bird and starts thrashing it about.  I dare you to blink during this intense scene.  It froze me.  The scene is a HUGE moment that foreshadows what is yet to come in this very realistic tale of two men alone, sharing lighthouse duties off the eastern coast.

With only a scrimshaw in the image of a mermaid as a distraction from the terrors within, The Lighthouse is an arthouse horror tale like few others.  The journey it takes you on is a maddening one as two men are brought together with one purpose: to keep a lighthouse functioning.  The work is hard, gritty, and absolutely grueling.

The Lighthouse, produced, directed, and co-written by Robert Eggers (The Witch), is a difficult film to pin down.  Is it a horror film?  A tale of delusion?  A comedy?  Or is it a sea shanty about the grueling work of manning a lighthouse on a jagged, black rock?  The truth is that the film, complete with the sound of crashing waves and long, lone foghorns, is all of these things. 

Haunting.  Mesmerizing.  Twisted.  And a whole lot of fun.  The Lighthouse hits all the right notes to create a hypnotic tale of supernatural madness.  I mean, what exactly is going on up in the lighthouse?  The mystery nursed here, like the superstitions surrounding seagulls, is part of The Lighthouse’s appeal. 

It should be noted that when a film is this good, genres simply don’t matter.  The Lighthouse could all be delusions.  It could also be very truthful in its use of severed heads, tentacles, and burps and farts.  It doesn’t matter, though, because every note of this masterpiece lands perfectly on its small jettison of rock to create a spellbinding tale as two lighthouse keepers - both guarding a very unusual Fresnel lens (as well as a number of deadly secrets) - share meals, conversation, living space, and dreams while working to death against some wild waves upon the blackest of rocks.The Lighthouse (2019)

Thanks to two stunning performances - both of them mercurial and hypnotic - from Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse proves to be both engaging and antiquated.  Eggers immediately takes audiences back to a simpler time of filmmaking.  Using black-and-white 35mm and framing this tale with a very box-like appearance, recalling films of yore in their natural 1.19:1 aspect ratio, our brains respond by settling in to this twisting tale of some very gothic and very gruelling conditions for two men and one sultry siren (Valeriia Karaman) to partake in.  

The Lighthouse, now out on blu-ray thanks to Lionsgate, is a gothic-styled thriller that should not be ignored.

5/5 beers

The Lighthouse (2019)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Lionsgate Films
Available on Blu-ray
- January 7, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.20:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Lionsgate presents The Lighthouse on blu-ray with excellent results.  Slipcovered and full of interesting supplemental material, fans will absolutely want to snatch this release up.  This release features a very powerful commentary from Eggers.

Video:

Shot on film with balstar lenses and an aesthetic that evokes 19th-century photography, The Lighthouse - especially its bleak and atmospheric black-and-white photography - withholds information for all the right reasons.  The cinematography, though, does not and presents crisp and crackling images of jagged rocks, sailors, and sea creatures with stunning results.  Black levels are solid and gray areas are haunting.  Framed in a square 1.19:1 aspect ratio, the very tall and narrow set looks expansive and absolutely revels in the crisp and defined shadows.  It is a brilliant-looking 1080p transfer.

Audio:

The sound design - represented here with an explicitly designed DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track - is engaging with thunderous waves, strong storms, and one, long foghorn.  This track is expansive and expressive.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Interestingly enough, purchasers of this blu-ray DO get a fascinating commentary from Eggers himself.  With its inclusion, you get the story behind the movie, its connection to Poe, and what Eggers wants to do with filmmaking in and of itself.

Special Features:

In color, the behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie is damn shocking.  For about 40-minutes we get looks at the shoot and the actors.  Also included are looks at some deleted scenes which total about 5-minutes long.

  • Deleted Scenes
  • The Lighthouse: A Dark and Stormy Tale

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4/5 stars

The Lighthouse (2019)

MPAA Rating: R for sexual content, nudity, violence, disturbing images, and some language.
Runtime:
109 mins
Director
: Robert Eggers
Writer:
Robert Eggers, Max Eggers
Cast:
Robert Pattinson, Willem Dafoe, Valeriia Karaman
Genre
: Drama | Horror |
Tagline:
Keeping secrets, are ye?
Memorable Movie Quote: "Why'd ya spill yer beans?"
Theatrical Distributor:
A24
Official Site: https://a24films.com/films/the-lighthouse
Release Date:
November 1, 2019
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
January 7, 2020.
Synopsis: Two lighthouse keepers try to maintain their sanity while living on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s.

The Lighthouse (2019)

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