Much like The Witch, this is another visually striking film with very well-crafted slow-building horror and highly ambiguous symbolism and tone. I quite enjoyed watching Robert Pattinson start from having both feet in reality (the lighthouse is just a quick job with good pay for him) to perhaps not being fully self-conscious (around the time he hears about what happened to the previous assistant) and then to complete insanity.
There is very little in the way of supernatural elements in the movie (the more bizarre events are quickly revealed to be just dreams), and yet the whole movie has a very surreal quality to it. That’s mostly due to the (amazing) cinematography, but also, now that I am thinking back about the movie, the fact that we never learn much about the characters definitely adds to it.
That’s one of the more frustrating aspects of the movie to me: while some things are probably better left unsaid (maybe the point is that reality doesn’t really matter), I’d like to get more insight into the characters. Perhaps a second viewing will bring more clarity.