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Simon RhodesFollow

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - English

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Faculty Sponsor Name

Anna Weinstein

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Horror movies in recent years have been flashy colorful films. However every once in a while a horror movie will come out that sticks to the basics. Black and white films may have fallen to the wayside with the introduction of color, but The Lighthouse (2019) is a different sort of story. The script for this film was co-written by two brothers, Robert and Max Eggers, and they have some very unique writing in their screenplay. The Lighthouse is set in the 1890’s on a remote island inhabited by two sailors. As one can imagine the dialogue and language is written to match the time of the movie, which can make it hard to understand. But that is just part of the fun/off-putting part of the movie. The movie stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson and is entirely in black and white. One might think the lack of color takes away from the story but things like bright lights and shadows are more pronounced.

The movie won several awards and nominations and it is easy to see why. The question is, why is this horror movie so successful? The purpose of this paper is to discern these reasons and by analyzing the script, it is possible to discover them. The entire movie is set up to be off-putting to the audience. The film purposefully includes things in shots to mess with the viewer's psyche. Some of the ways that the film does this are camera angles, purposefully creepy dialogue, mystery/secrets, and lighting. The film also does a very certain type of horror, Lovecraftian horror. This is not something seen in the media, it is very hard to pull off in writing and execution. The Lighthouse however, as seen through its success, covers this genre of horror quite well.

Disciplines

Broadcast and Video Studies | Graphic Communications | Interpersonal and Small Group Communication

Project Type

Poster

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The Lighthouse - A Screenplay Analysis

Horror movies in recent years have been flashy colorful films. However every once in a while a horror movie will come out that sticks to the basics. Black and white films may have fallen to the wayside with the introduction of color, but The Lighthouse (2019) is a different sort of story. The script for this film was co-written by two brothers, Robert and Max Eggers, and they have some very unique writing in their screenplay. The Lighthouse is set in the 1890’s on a remote island inhabited by two sailors. As one can imagine the dialogue and language is written to match the time of the movie, which can make it hard to understand. But that is just part of the fun/off-putting part of the movie. The movie stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson and is entirely in black and white. One might think the lack of color takes away from the story but things like bright lights and shadows are more pronounced.

The movie won several awards and nominations and it is easy to see why. The question is, why is this horror movie so successful? The purpose of this paper is to discern these reasons and by analyzing the script, it is possible to discover them. The entire movie is set up to be off-putting to the audience. The film purposefully includes things in shots to mess with the viewer's psyche. Some of the ways that the film does this are camera angles, purposefully creepy dialogue, mystery/secrets, and lighting. The film also does a very certain type of horror, Lovecraftian horror. This is not something seen in the media, it is very hard to pull off in writing and execution. The Lighthouse however, as seen through its success, covers this genre of horror quite well.

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