Based on the true story of the Smalls Lighthouse Incident of 1801, Chris Crow’s atmospheric feature follows the dark and dire fortunes of two men trapped on a lighthouse for months on end. As a deadly storm rages outside, so begins a desolate descent into recrimination, violence and madness.
Over the course of several features (Panic Button, Devil’s Bridge) director Chris Crow has established himself as a virtual one-man genre film industry working out of Wales. But despite Crow’s horror pedigree, The Lighthouse eschews the story’s potential for cabin-fever carnage in favour of a more studied meditation on themes of guilt, grief and masculinity. Working with a bigger budget (and backing from the likes of BBC Films) Crow steps up admirably, presenting a tightly coiled, claustrophobic chamber piece that’s boosted by two commendable performances from two leads (Mark Lewis Jones, Michael Jibson) who are rarely off-screen.