A24 has released a brand new trailer for The Lighthouse. This serves as the sophomore directorial feature from Robert Eggers, the man behind 2015’s acclaimed The Witch. While this certainly seems to retain much of the filmmaker’s style, this is a very different kind of ride, as it centers on our new Batman Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe as a couple of lighthouse keepers in the late 1800s. And, based on this latest footage, it looks far more bizarre than scary.
Things kick off with Robert Pattinson arriving to replace someone who recently departed the job guarding this old lighthouse.Willem Dafoe regales him with tales of the light being haunted, which Pattinson scoffs at. That leads to contention between the two. Most of the trailer is them sitting in a room together saying “what?” at one another, which is as strange as it sounds. Little out of context glimpses at the movie are spliced in, with one particularly eyebrow-raising moment involving Dafoe skipping with an ax in the darkness. The fact that it’s all in black and white only serves to add to the unique vibe of the whole thing.
As for what The Lighthouse is about? The studio isn’t willing to say much, only that it is a “hypnotic and hallucinatory tale” and that it centers on two lighthouse keepers located on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s. Though, people expecting a straight-up horror excursion need to temper expectations. Robert Eggers, in a recent interview with Vulture, had this to say about his latest.
“There are some people who stick by specific definitions of what genre is and they don’t like what I’m doing, which is perfectly fine. ‘The Lighthouse‘ isn’t scary. A few people have said it is, but I don’t think it is. I think where genre is limiting is that in the marketplace, you have to put things in a box to create expectations to make a profit, and that’s where you run into trouble. There are people who really do say, ‘Give me my money back because I paid to get scared and I didn’t ever once throw my popcorn in the air.’ That’s fair enough.”
While The Witch found success and garnered a great deal of critical acclaim, it was marketed as a more straightforward horror movie. Those who have seen it know that’s not quite the case. Here, Robert Eggers is making no bones about the fact that this isn’t a so-called “elevated horror” movie.
Those who have seen the movie so far have responded kindly. After playing at a couple of festivals, The Lighthouse has a 94 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s set to arrive in theaters on October 18 in New York and Los Angeles, with an expansion set to follow. Be sure to check out the new trailer from the A24 YouTube channel for yourself.