The Quarantine Stream: 'The Lighthouse' Is The Perfect Claustrophobic Cautionary Tale For Our Times

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they've been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)The Movie: The LighthouseWhere You Can Stream It: Amazon PrimeThe Pitch: Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe play two lighthouse keepers who are stranded on the remote island during a storm, leading them to descend into a booze-soaked frenzy of sexual frustration and isolation-induced insanity. Sound familiar?Why It's Essential Quarantine Viewing: Maybe Robert Eggers' claustrophobic horror movie about roommates from hell hits a little too close to home, but The Lighthouse is the perfect kind of deranged cautionary tale for our time. Dafoe turns in a brawny, briny masterclass of a performance as the film's longtime lighthouse keeper who greets Pattinson's newcomer, a secretive young man who quickly becomes irritated by his partner's shotgun-like farts and hokey superstitions. These irritations quickly rise to the surface when the pair are trapped together by a raging storm, which brings out all the repressed anger and lust that the two had been harboring. And strangely, watching it, it gives a little levity to the current quarantines we're all stuck in. After all, it could be so much worse.

There isn't a movie that I've referred to or thought of more during this quarantine than The Lighthouse. Robert Eggers' twisted gothic thriller that tackles Jean-Paul Sartre's most bleak sentiment — hell is other people — seemed a far-too accurate a representation of the our own situtations. We're trapped in our homes, impossibly horny, and far too sensitive to our roommates/families/spouses' every cough, every open-mouthed chew, every fart.

I was worried, when I popped on The Lighthouse a month into my own quarantine to watch with my roommate (who I dearly love!), that the movie would be made too difficult to enjoy under the present circumstances. But somehow, The Lighthouse in its suffocating black and white color scheme and its operatic horror, was an absolute blast to watch.

I've got to give it to Dafoe's farts. As wild as Pattinson's lustful fixation on the mermaid statuette were — and his eventual hallucinations of a real, grinning mermaid — it's Dafoe's booming farts that cut through the delirious mass of cosmic horror that is The Lighthouse and into my soul. It made me realize that this heightened tale that unleashes the repressed id of two lonely, angry men, would far outstrip any frustrations that I had stuck inside my tiny New York apartment. Maybe I was caught up in the movie's own delirium, but I found myself enjoying The Lighthouse more than ever. It's just the kind of lurid escapism that skates just closely enough to reality to allow you to relate, before you're swept away in the fantasies of cursed seagulls and hidden lights. And you'll never complain again about eating lobster.