The Lighthouse is every bit as barmy as they say (Picture: A24, AP)

Robert Pattinson did try to warn us – his masturbation scene in The Lighthouse was certainly ‘ferocious’ to say the least. But honestly, there’s really nothing that can truly prepare you for that moment and all the other seriously disturbing and twisted things that unfold in Robert Eggers’ latest masterpiece.

If you’ve seen Eggers’ cinematic debut The Witch, then you probably never expected The Lighthouse to be a predictable horror tied up neatly with a definitive explanation as to the deeper meaning.

Set in New England during the late 1800s, The Lighthouse sees Pattinson and Willem Defoe star as two keepers aka wickies who become stranded on the remote island before losing all sense of time – and their minds in the process.

Ephraim Winslow (Pattinson) joins the formidable Thomas Wake (Defoe) on the rock and doesn’t exactly get a warm introduction to his new lighthouse mate – and neither do we.

*** SPOILERS ***

Within a few minutes, Thomas is letting off farts faster than we can down shots and turn it into a drinking game.

Subtlety isn’t exactly Thomas’ forte but in a way, we admire his unapologetic give-zero-f***s attitude. It’s reminiscent of those elderly people you might come across on the tube or the post office for example, who just exude a sense of no-nonsense: ‘This is who I am, accept it or keep it moving.’

Or like the drunken uncle at a wedding who can’t stop passing wind and burping loudly.

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Although, Thomas definitely has more uncouthness about him. Basically, he’s the epitome of no filter and poor, poor Ephraim has no choice but to accept it.

Thomas’ chiding of his younger counterpart is unrelenting and doesn’t let up until he’s had a drink. And even then, Ephraim suffers another kind of torture – listening to the old wickie drone on about persecution and other such ramblings, which probably isn’t the kind of drunken bonding Ephraim had in mind.

But that’s pretty much the pacing of The Lighthouse and it’s just as alarming for the audience as it is for the lighthouse keepers themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere – we may as well be in that darn lighthouse with them.

In one scene, they’re laughing and clinking glasses cementing their bromanceship and the next, Ephraim is plotting ways to kill the old man in his sleep.

By the second half, they’re acting like a married couple, arguing over who cooks the best steak and the next, they’re slow dancing by the moonlight (which, might we add looked all the more romantic in black and white).

Ephraim and Thomas are like one old married couple (Picture: A24 Pictures, AP)

What’s that famous saying? Ah yes, a thin line between love and hate.

There’s also a thin line between their sanity and insanity.

Even with the uncomfortably abrasive scenarios, it’s impossible to peel your eyes away and even more impossible to know what will happen next.

Once he realises they’re trapped on the island following the mother of all storms, it’s all downhill for Ephraim, who begins to lose his mind a little more with each swig of their homemade ale.

Although to be fair, the state of his mental health was already questionable due to those hallucinations he’d been having earlier in the film.

His most frequent fantasy involves a beautiful woman, who we eventually come to see is actually a mermaid.

Before we know it, they’re having mermaid sex between the rocks with seagulls flapping around overhead.

R-Patz praying for rescue (Picture: A24 Pictures, AP)
R-Patz and Defoe make for one dynamite pairing (Picture: A24 Pictures, AP)

Speaking of seagulls – we hope none were harmed in the making of this film. We’ve all had those moments, on Margate Pier for example, where they’ve tried to pinch our last sandwich once the tide starts coming in.

But we’ve never taken out our annoyance as aggressively as Pattinson’s Ephraim.

Just saying.

But back to the mermaid sex, it’s just the tip of the sexual content featured in The Lighthouse.

Pattinson certainly wasn’t lying when he said his masturbation scene in the shed was ‘ferocious’ – and it’s not his only moment of, ahem, self love.

Although in his defence, what else was there to do while trapped with the insufferable Thomas?

Between Thomas’ constant farts and Ephraim’s self-pleasuring, you might not look at Pattinson and Defoe in the same way again.

But what a dynamite pairing they make. Their on-screen alter-egos could be considered an extreme version of their real life dynamic – except Defoe certainly doesn’t need to show Pattinson the ropes in Hollywood. Defoe’s also probably much nicer than Thomas IRL.

R-Patz is being submitted for an Oscar for his raw performance in The Lighthouse and it’s certainly well deserved.

The Lighthouse is hands down a career best – the Twilight-era Pattinson could never. Sorry Twihards.

Kanye West might have put it best with his iconic 2011 album – The Lighthouse is one big beautiful dark twisted fantasy.

The Lighthouse arrives in UK cinemas on 31 January 2020.



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