Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.

Following

Nightmare Fuel / The Lighthouse

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hark_2.jpg
"HAAAAARK!"

Previews

The trailers pull absolutely no punches in the Go Mad from the Isolation department.
Advertisement:
  • Wake's "Why'd ya spilled yer beans?" quote eerily echoing throughout the first trailer.
  • Ephraim struggling with an octopus that's snaring his neck with a tentacle.
  • The scary rendition of "Doodle Let Me Go".
  • Wake is seen running through a storm while clutching an axe - given his mental instability, this leaves some obviously disturbing insinuations.
    • Some of the shots also imply he's chasing Ephraim.
  • At the end of the first trailer, Wake's dialogue reveals they start to lose track of time. Another sign of their growing insanity? Or something else, given the supernatural implications...
    Thomas Wake: "How long have we been on this rock? Five weeks? Two Days? Help me to recollect."
  • Wake's Freak Out at the end of the second trailer after a brief "debate" between him and Ephraim, all set to nightmarish imagery of the lighthouse, the aforementioned axe, and another brief glimpse of the octopus.
    Thomas Wake: Damn ye! Let Neptune strike ye dead, Winslow. HAAAARK!

Advertisement:

Film

  • Mark Korven's haunting and foreboding soundtrack.
  • Winslow violently smashing the gull against the rock.
  • Speaking of seagulls, Wake says that seagulls contain the souls of dead sailors. Gee, there sure seem to be a lot of seagulls on this island.
  • The mermaid that Winslow finds washed up letting out a horrifying screeching sound.
  • The earliest indication that something is definitely up: Winslow's conversations with Wake show that he is a little sensitive about tending the light himself, which you may think understandable, considering his last assistant apparently went mad doing so. That night, we find while Winslow stokes the boilers, Wake is at the top of the lighthouse, naked, his eyes glazed over, and raising a glass to toast the lantern:
    Wake: To ye, me beauty.
  • As darkly comic as the scene where Wake curses Winslow is, it's also quite scary. The way Wake is shot, looming over the camera framed by shadows, makes him barely look human. The monologue, although hilariously over the top, is still genuinely chilling and Wake becomes more and more serious the longer it goes on to the point that Winslow looks frightened, and by the time he's finished Wake's face has shifted from furious anger to fear and awe, as though he's scaring himself with the horrors he's invoking.
    Wake: Damn ye! Let Neptune strike ye dead, Winslow. HAAAAAAARK! Hark! Triton! Hark! Bellow! Bid Our Father, the Sea-King arise from the depths full foul in His fury, black waves teaming with salt-foam to smother this young mouth with pungent slime, to choke ye! Engorging your organs 'till ye turn blue and bloated with bilge and brine and can scream no more, only when He, crowned in cockleshells, with slithering, tentacled tail and steaming beard, take up His fell, be-finned arm; His coral-tined trident screeches banshee-like in the tempest and plunges right through your gullet! BURSTING YE, a bulging bladder no more, but a blasted, bloody film now - a nothing for the harpies and the souls of dead sailors to peck and claw and feed upon only to be lapped up and swallowed by the infinite waters of the Dread Emperor Himself, forgotten to any man, to any time, forgotten to any God or Devil, forgotten even to the sea, for any stuff or part of Winslow, even any scantling of your soul, is Winslow no more, but is now itself the sea!
    • Speaking of which, look closely at Wake during the entire scene. From a certain point all the way till he finishes his speech, he never blinks.
    • Advertisement:
    • Even worse, as Wake begins his invocation, the thunder crashes outside. Was something listening?
  • Winslow brings up a crab trap from the water and ends up finding (or hallucinating) the severed head of Wake's previous assistant in it. The head is missing an eye.
  • The sudden, jarring shot of Wake staring down Ephraim with glowing eyes which is a direct reference to the equally creepy ''Hypnose'' by Sascha Schneider.
  • The scene where Winslow forces Wake into the pit they dug earlier and starts burying him alive, particularly the way it slowly zooms in on Wake's face as he gets hit with clods of soil while lying helplessly on his back, emphasizing the dirt as it gradually covers his eyes and fills his mouth while he struggles to speak.
  • Winslow staring into the light, an intense, terrifying climax for the film. By the end of the shot, Robert Pattinson barely looks — or sounds — human.
    • His face throughout the shot. By the time he opens the lighthouse, it's caked in blood, and as he looks in, the brightness of the image is gradually cranked up until nearly every detail is invisible, heavily distorting his features to the point where it looks like his eyes aren't there, and his lips resemble teeth. It's like the film itself is unable to contain the lantern's light.
    • His hysterical screaming, slowly reducing to bursts of distorted static.
    • His almost puppet-like staggering movements towards the end. Brrrr.
    • One comment sums it up best:
    • As if that wasn't enough, there's the eerie wording Eggers chose in his un-explanation of the scene — if you had seen what Winslow saw, you would've had the same reaction.
    • One YouTube video comment provided this haunting description of what Winslow might have felt:
      "If the light behind the lens is already enough to drive people mad, directly facing its raw, unfiltered image must do something truly horrific to the human mind. My interpretation: What he saw was so beyond anything humans can imagine it broke his mind. Who knows what he experienced in the time he gazed into the light... In his mind he might have felt every cell of his body being ripped apart, every neuron and nerve being scorched a million times over. For him that moment could have lasted a billion years, who knows, maybe an eternity of torment. That scream was the physical manifestation of his experience. For the viewer it only lasted a few seconds, after that his body went into shock, making him fall down the stairs unconscious. In the last shot he is an empty shell functioning on basic survival reflexes, his mind wiped clean by the light."
  • The sickening crunches heard as Winslow tumbles down the stairs, breaking his neck. With only his screams and no music.
  • The final shot of Winslow getting defecated upon and his insides pecked out by seagulls. And he's still alive to witness it. Now consider the possibility that this is his version of Hell, and he's going to be stuck that way forever.


Top