The Lighthouse

Theatrical Release: October 31, 2019
The Lighthouse


The Dove Take:

Art-house film focuses on aesthetics and insanity, with graphic contact.

Dove Review

The Synopsis:

The hypnotic and hallucinatory tale of two lighthouse keepers on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s.

The Review:

The Lighthouse’s powerful aesthetic may focus, mystify, and nearly drown its audience. Filmed in gorgeous black-and-white with an almost square aspect ratio, our attention is isolated and charged. Potential themes, concepts, and images storm around: a destroyed clock, perished seagulls, a staircase that spirals like a seashell toward a terrible light. Are these beacons of storytelling perspective, or lures toward a narrative abyss? With such an emphasis on aesthetics, does it matter?

The film is anchored by its aesthetic. For the audience, that means they may expect a cinematic plunge into seas of insanity and darkness. It means incredible cinematography, intense performances, and attention to the film’s setting in place and time. It also means graphic sexuality, violence, and language. An array of sexual acts are portrayed or implied, violence is brutal, language is salty as the sea, and there are pervasive aspects regarding insanity and negativity.

The Lighthouse casts an intense beam, but sailors beware. Its light could be a siren on a cinematic shore of darkness.

The Lighthouse is not Dove-approved.

Content Description

Nudity: Graphic nudity, including in sexual contexts; full male nudity; a mermaid is topless, there are close up shots of her breasts, and her sexual organs are portrayed; men wear long underwear, which doesn’t always cover very well.
Other: Negative and dark themes, including insanity and potential supernatural things; characters relieve themselves, and feces and urine are seen; a character vomits; a character has gas.
Faith: Some religious language, but not in a very positive way.
Integrity: None
Sex: Graphic sexual content is seen as well as implied some of which is bizarre; several sequences include masturbation and resulting fluid; a man finds a mermaid, and while she’s in a daze, he touches her bare breast; a man has sex with a mermaid; it might be implied that Defoe and Pattinson’s characters have sex; a man is a peeping tom on a partially unclothed man; strange sexual imagery; sexual language.
Language: Strong language, including J, GD, D; religious swearing; S and SOB are said multiple times.
Violence: Graphic violence includes fighting, and slicing with an ax; a man violently kills a seagull, repeatedly bashing it; blood; rotting corpses are seen; violent talk.
Drugs: Much drinking, drunkenness and smoking.


Company: A24
Director: Robert Eggers
Genre: Fantasy
Runtime: 109 min.
Industry Rating: R
Reviewer: John P.