Features and Columns

‘The Shining’ and ‘The Lighthouse’ Are The Ultimate Cabin Fever Double Bill

Looking for a god-tier double bill about the horrors of isolation? Look no further.
The Lighthouse The Shining
By  · Published on May 12th, 2020

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Nothing hits quite like a double feature. Especially when both films overtly resonate with each other. And given a good chunk of the movie-watching world is flush with spare time (thanks, pandemic), the possibilities are endless. A horny nun double up of The Devils and School of the Holy Beast? An offbeat colonial Giallo pairing of Next of Kin and Black Christmas?

How about two films about psychological breakdown in a confined space? Not that any of us would know anything about that. As detailed in the video essay “The Shining and The Lighthouse: The Horror of Isolation,” Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse not only pair well together, they illuminate each other’s shared thematic threads and underline the true horror of entrapment. In addition to more obvious common ground (men driven to bloodlust and insanity by isolation and loneliness), the essay argues that the pairing highlights more subtle similarities: claustrophobic framing, surreal quick cuts, and a shared interest in Greek mythology.

These days, watching a movie about cabin fever (let alone two!) may seem like a risky on-the-nose move. But consider this: staring straight into the light of what ails you can be cathartic. And hey, sometimes you need a reminder that things can always be worse.

You can watch “The Shining and The Lighthouse: The Horror of Isolation” here:

Who made this?

Based out of the UK, Masters of Movies has been releasing video essays on YouTube over the last year. You can follow them on Twitter here. They also post reviews and blog posts on their website, including a list of ten underrated films to watch during quarantine.

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Meg Shields is the humble farm boy of your dreams and a senior contributor at Film School Rejects. She currently runs three columns at FSR: The Queue, How'd They Do That?, and Horrorscope. She is also a curator for One Perfect Shot and a freelance writer for hire. Meg can be found screaming about John Boorman's 'Excalibur' on Twitter here: @TheWorstNun. (She/Her).