This is going to be the first of the reviews that I’m going to be putting out there, learning how to write about film (and writing words down in general). I’ve always been a huge film/TV fan and never really felt I was allowed to have an opinion, but you know what? I do and I’m going to be sharing it through semi-regular posts on this blog.
The format of the review may change as I go along and gain more confidence and skill in writing but I thought if I don’t get one out now I never will.
You can always follow me over on Twitter for the occasional live watch throughs of TV series as and when I do them and various ramblings about whatever seems to take my fancy.
Shot in (almost) square format which gave an old-fashioned feel to the film, though the black and white was crisp and had none of the greyness associated with older films. The deep black tones of the film matched the deep tones of the constant fog horn setting a mood that got darker and darker as the film progressed.
“The light is mine”
The darkness is so oppressive that the counterpoint and beat of the lighthouse light felt alive, a heartbeat, a seductive creature in itself, maybe the real inhabitant of the island.
Both Patterson and Dafoe portray their characters brilliantly, this is emphasised with stunning direction and camera work, every frame is redolent with depth and meaning, with the solitude being carefully crafted and counterbalanced with foreboding and foreshadowing.
There is a definite Lovecraftian feel to the oppression, the sea, and madness. This tone then ups a gear a third of the way into the film changing from a pure portrait of solitude to something else as the wind changes.
The slow creeping horror builds throughout the first part of the film to what became a necessary conclusion.
Touching on a lot of different themes this is a great, though harrowing, watch with stunning performances from both actors and I’m sure it will improve from multiple watchings.
A well-crafted portrayal of a bleak existence and descent into alcohol-fuelled madness where myth and reality blend into one wind-swept and rain-lashed nightmare.