Splice the mainbrace for this intense chamber piece set on a remote lighthouse post in 1890s New England. Ephraim (Robert Pattinson) arrives to play second mate to lighthouse keeper Thomas (Willem Dafoe). The two men start by needling each other about cooking and chores, but things take a turn for the unhinged, as Ephraim’s past starts to catch up with him and he becomes obsessively drawn to the lighthouse’s scouring bulb.
Filmed by The Witch’s Robert Eggers in eye-popping vintage black and white reminiscent of the best of Bergman, this is a brilliant, briny two-hander. The baroque slang (informed by intensive research) makes the roiling back and forth between Pattinson and Dafoe a treat, as the film blossoms into nightmare-inducing fantasy, ripe with images that linger in the mind like sea fog.