July 2, 2018 The Lighthouse (Movie Review)
WARNING: A spatula will be necessary to scrape both eyes from the television screen after having watched the very movie written within this article.
That movie is called The Lighthouse, and after its July 6, 2018, theatrical release date, entire stocks of spatulas will disappear from any one person’s favorite “home goods” store, and this is all due to Uncork’d Entertainment who also release this film to moviegoers on VOD as of July 10th. The Lighthouse is a gripping movie spinning a tale of how the minds of two men journey into a state of complete madness at the hands of their own personal paranoia, sorrow, and utter regret. These two men, among others before them, are tasked for a month to keep a lone oil lamp lit atop a lighthouse that was built upon several long pillars made of hard oak. Since 1776, this lighthouse has stood upon a tiny area named Smalls Island: an area made up of massive rock and stone, which lies 20 miles from Wales in the Irish Sea, and a distance seemingly secluded from any sign or form of life.
In the film, the year is 1801, and these two gentlemen arrive at the lighthouse to fulfill their month-long duty. One of them is named Thomas Griffiths (Mark Lewis Jones: Sniper: Legacy 2014, Star Wars: The Last Jedi 2017), a rough ‘n’ gruff older fella whose heart diminishes with every beat from the loss of his wife and of his only daughter. Griffiths feels alone in the world, but feels nothing for those complaining and whimpering over the littlest things. He is determined and strong-willed, but is a ticking time bomb filled with explosive emotions. The other gentleman, Thomas Howell (Michael Jibson: Les Misérables 2012, Good People 2014), is a kind, peaceful man of faith devoted to his god, but also a man with a traffic-load of regret haunting his thoughts.
It will appear as if Director/Co-writer Chris Crow (Devil’s Bridge 2010, Panic Button 2011) locked these two men in a small room, surrounded their any escape with a roaring, angry sea, and kept a camera rolling just to see what would happen after a month’s time. The result is what will keep both eyes sizzling upon the big-screen for nearly 100 minutes from the moment The Lighthouse begins, and long after its final scene.
The way Crow introduces Howell and Griffiths during the beginning credit roll is a lot of fun to watch. The viewer will be hinted as to how the characters may seem at first, but as the movie progresses, the viewer will begin seeing a change come over Howell and Griffiths as a change of scenery tests the fragile minds of both men. With supplies running low, a storm sets in around Smalls Island preventing any form of rescue or any way for a supply drop to be delivered. This happening begins to take both men hostage as their minds begin to dwindle into madness, paranoia, and despair.
The Lighthouse is a character study of two men confined within a small area, both whom get to know one another as each days passes. Jones is phenomenal as a bitter man questioning whether or not he and his partner will survive the weeks on Smalls Island, and Jibson provides a straight-arrow performance as a character trying to keep himself and his partner sane long enough until the storm has ended, and until their time there is fulfilled. But when tragedy strikes, Jibson’s Howell has then the task to keep it all together before the lighthouse swallows him whole.
Filled with of some of the best cinematography seen in films today and some of the best acting this side of the universe, The Lighthouse pretends to be a Thriller, when in fact, it is a dramatization of an apparent true event that occurred on this very island. Every second of its running-time is the canola oil keeping the eyes cooking upon the glass of a television set. There is never a dull moment. The scenery may be grim to most, but long after the film has ended, the viewer will experience a sense of yearning to be put back into this lighthouse, just to live it one more day.
There is one minor flaw that some viewers may or may not notice, and that is how the last portion of the film drags on a bit too long, which can also be seen as a good thing, as the viewer gets to watch Jibson tackle the rest of the movie with some amazing acting skills—like he were on a stage under one spotlight in front of a thousand people mesmerized at his demanding performance. But because constructive criticism exists, the mentioning of the ending is a minute flaw that will not shadow over the rest of the film, but should prove to Director Chris Crow that there are people out there enjoying his work, and paying attention to his every cinematic detail.
For a movie pitting two fantastic actors against a haunting, beautifully-grim backdrop full of equally amazing scenery at the hands of an amazing camera crew, and for a movie that grabs hold of interest and never lets go, CrypticRock proudly rates The Lighthouse 5 out of 5 stars. This article has been approved by the United Spatula Organization.