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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerhouse shocker with stunning set-pieces
LIGHTHOUSE

(UK - 1999)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Theatrical soundtrack: Dolby Digital

On a storm-lashed lighthouse-island 300 miles from the UK coastline, the prison ship 'Hyperion' runs aground and discharges a number of prison officers and inmates, including a monstrous psychopath (Christopher Adamson) who proceeds to stalk and kill...
Published on 13 Jun 2003 by Libretio

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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Horror
I rented this movie a few months ago and watched it thinking it was a monster horror movie so I was a little confused when I realised it was about a serial killer! However I enjoyed the dark edgy way it was filmed and the tension that it created, so I bought it. When I watched it again I found that there was less to it than I had remembered (there are flash back scenes in...
Published on 5 April 2005 by Zombie Inkpot


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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerhouse shocker with stunning set-pieces, 13 Jun 2003
By 
Libretio - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Lighthouse [DVD] (DVD)
LIGHTHOUSE

(UK - 1999)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Theatrical soundtrack: Dolby Digital

On a storm-lashed lighthouse-island 300 miles from the UK coastline, the prison ship 'Hyperion' runs aground and discharges a number of prison officers and inmates, including a monstrous psychopath (Christopher Adamson) who proceeds to stalk and kill them, one by one.

Writer-director Simon Hunter's powerhouse shocker - an award winner at movie festivals in Luxembourg and Rome - borrows the setting of Jim O'Connolly's hoary old clunker TOWER OF EVIL (1972) and derives its narrative cue from the American 'slasher' cycle initiated by Wes Craven's SCREAM (1996), yet it manages to trounce both those movies in terms of horror and suspense. James Purefoy (RESIDENT EVIL) and Rachel Shelley (CRUISE OF THE GODS) lead a small but talented cast of newcomers and veterans (including Paul Brooke and Don Warrington) as a motley collection of hot-heads and cowards who must set aside their differences and band together in a desperate attempt to survive the killer's rampage, and Simon Bowles' low budget production design transforms the eerie setting into a nightmarish, storm-ravaged landscape where death and violence can erupt from the shadows at every turn.

The first half of the film is distinguished by a series of Hitchcockian set-pieces (a potential victim cowering in a toilet stall as the killer lurks outside, a terrified character trapped in a boat with a two-way radio which could betray his presence to the prowling maniac at any moment, and two prisoners chained together at the wrist who are forced to make a terrible decision during an unexpected encounter with the bloodthirsty killer), and the crowd-pleasing climax combines daring stuntwork, explosive visual effects and bravura editing for a breathtaking encounter between good and evil at the top of the lighthouse, culminating in the spectacular departure of a major character. Hunter emphasizes suspense and atmosphere over violence (though he isn't afraid to cut loose on the bloodshed when necessary), and his clever script maintains an impressive degree of logic, isolating potential victims through careful calculation rather than narrative contrivance. Lovely, evocative music score by Debbie Wiseman, too.

Incredibly, despite being co-financed by BSkyB and the Arts Council of England, and despite a warm reception at various festival screenings, LIGHTHOUSE remained on the shelf for three years before creeping into UK cinemas to lukewarm reviews and poor business. It fared little better in the US, where the movie played briefly in theaters under a new title (DEAD OF NIGHT) before being consigned to video hell. It's commercial history notwithstanding, this is a small classic, ripe for rediscovery.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Horror, 5 April 2005
This review is from: Lighthouse [DVD] (DVD)
I rented this movie a few months ago and watched it thinking it was a monster horror movie so I was a little confused when I realised it was about a serial killer! However I enjoyed the dark edgy way it was filmed and the tension that it created, so I bought it. When I watched it again I found that there was less to it than I had remembered (there are flash back scenes in the movie and the first time I watched it I read a lot into them but watching it again I don't know how I got so much meaning from them!) but it is still an enjoyable, tense serial killer horror movie.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Suffers from familiarity and over exuberance from its director, but still a solid sub-genre entry., 4 Feb 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lighthouse [DVD] (DVD)
Lighthouse (AKA: Dead of Night) is directed by Simon Hunter and written by Graeme Scarfe. It stars James Purefoy, Rachel Shelley, Christopher Adamson, Don Warrington & Paul Brooke. The plot sees a prison ship on its way to the remote Marshelsea Island Prison run aground and sunk. The survivors, a mixture of cons and prison staff, struggle ashore a tiny island that's only function is to house a lighthouse. Thanking their lucky stars for surviving the wreck it's not long before they realise their luck has quickly run out. For psychotic serial killer Leo Rook has made it ashore before them and he has no intention of letting any of them survive the night.

Funded by Arts Council money, Hunter's movie took some time to make it on to the screen. What began in 1994 ended with a video release in the US (as Dead of Night) in 2000 and then two years later it got a limited theatrical release in the UK. As a slasher movie, and a generic one at that, Lighthouse doesn't veer from the norm. However, it's still a very tidy effort that gains the maximum impact from its truly eerie setting. This dark and rocky little island that is intermittently lit by the Lighthouse is perfect for stalk and slash shenanigans. And so it proves. Yes the characters are too one note and not given the best of dialogue to churn out, but for its look and nicely handled set pieces the film ends up better than average.

The cast, in spite of said bad dialogue, are more than adequate, particularly the game Shelley and the enjoyable Brooke. However, it's Adamson as nut-case Rook that leaves the best impression. As a killer Rook is really just a British version of Jason Vorhees or Michael Myers, but with his calm unflustered movements about the island, resplendent in bizarre white shoes, Rook manages to terrify and intrigue in equal measure. Why he is the way he is is not known, but this adds to the air of mystery that surrounds the man who likes to collect heads for decoration purposes! Of the set pieces, the finale is noisily OTT but works well, even if Hunter's use of slow-mo smacks of pointless pretencions. But it's with the quiet tension filled scenes where Lighthouse earns its spurs, one in the bathroom is as good as it gets for this type of film, while another involving a lifeboat down on the sand is also hold your breath enjoyable. Shot by Tony Imi on location in Cornwall & Hastings, the film is also visually appealing for those who like a grainy noir like sheen to their horror. With Hunter clearly in that frame of mind judging by his nice usage of the off kilter shot. While Debbie Wiseman's surging score has a very 50s feel to it.

It's safe to say that anyone looking for something new in this now tired of horror sub-genres will be disappointed. But the look, the feel, the setting and no shortage of the claret; more than makes up for its adherence to genre staples. 6.5/10
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent chiller, partly ruined by gross overuse of strobe lighting, 15 July 2010
By 
Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Lighthouse [DVD] (DVD)
The first hour and a quarter of this film was excellent! A lighthouse is a splendidly evocative venue for a horror film and this movie is clearly a cut above (no pun intended) the umpteen trashy American slasher flicks of the same genre. The tension builds at a measured and well-crafted pace, giving us solid characterisation and some quite remarkable scenes. The brilliant toilet scene in particular (veteran actor Paul Brooke playing a blinder) was absolutely Hitchcockian and the dream scene with Gemma Jones in flashback mode, was truly haunting. The gore is reasonably convincing and the tension palpable. But why oh why did the obviously talented director ruin the ending with a solid 10 minutes of nausea-inducing and borderline illegal strobe lighting? Sorry but that made it utterly unwatchable for me, so I cannot really comment on the denouement.

What a shame! All that hard work and good acting by a splendid British cast somewhat ruined by the ridiculous and irresponsible strobe effects. Was it meant to be a perverted joke, because the hero was epileptic? Whatever. It was very badly advised and obliges me to deduct at least a star from my rating.
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2.0 out of 5 stars EPILEPTICS DO NOT WATCH THIS FILM!, 5 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Lighthouse [DVD] (DVD)
Whilst the plot line is fairly good, and the cast is excellent the quality if sound is appauling and there are no subtitles to help you along. But best of all, one of the main characters is epileptic and as with all films of this genre you know it's going to kick in at the worst possible moment for the characters. Of course that also means that it flickers straight in the face of the epileptic viewer!There is no warning on the box or in the online description. I really wish film companies would remember these things!
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1.0 out of 5 stars terrible., 4 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Lighthouse [DVD] (DVD)
pointless stalk and slasher: bad camerawork, directing, lighting and rubbish sound quality - but thats the norm with modern stuff, title and incidental music blaring whilst dialogue is barely a whisper. overall ... rubbish, and a waste of decent actors.
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2.0 out of 5 stars hit or miss, 13 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Lighthouse [DVD] (DVD)
its one of those films you like or dont it a personel chioce matter realy i think with the actors supplied the script and directing of the movie was poor
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Jaw-droppingly dreadful, 13 Nov 2012
This review is from: Lighthouse [DVD] (DVD)
I wish i had looked at some reviews before i bought this atrocity.
This film piles cliche upon cliche, contrivance upon contrivance until you want to smash the tv screen.
It starts off on what appears to be a Victorian prison hulk for some reason,(all shadows,and dripping water)which is conveying some prisoners in cages to an island prison . Amongst them is Michael Myers clone Leo Rook.
Needless to say Leo conveniently escapes to a nearby island with a very handy machete. The prison ship founders and all survivors also make it to the island where thet are set upon by the villain.
Characters disappear for large swathes of the film just to reappear to serve a plot point.
Characters mill about aimlessly on the beach waiting to be slaughtered.
Leo Rook lurches silently from place to place beheading people.
The risible finale takes place atop the island lighthouse where it seems that several of the protagonists have developed superhuman powers.
James "charisma vaccuum" Purefoy is the lead role. He is a murderer (but not really) as he is also the love interest for Rachel someone-or-other, a criminal psychologist whom you will come to loathe.
The film also includes various minor British character actors whom you will recognise for all the wrong reasons, and the black guy out of "Rising Damp".

All in all, a very irritating, boring and by-the-numbers effort.
A real D- film if ever i saw one.
Avoid like the plague.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Some films fade into obscurity for a reason, 5 Jun 2008
By 
All of them Witches (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lighthouse [DVD] (DVD)
A dogs dinner of a film, absolutely one of the worst films of its type I have experienced to date. I'm surprised the music score hasn't been mentioned, you have to view this film with the remote control on your lap because the dialogue is inaudible unless you have the sound right up and ANY exterior noise, a chair moving etc is four times as loud as the talking. Then the music score randomnly kicks in and you lose your windows so I spent my time turning the volume up, down, trying to pre-empt the music, failing to hear much of the dialogue because often the music was playing RIGHT OVER IT. Unbelievably bad.
The characterisation was awful. The 'hero' of the film who it was established early on in the most cringe worthy contrived fashion was a prisoner who was the victim of a miscarriage of justice just so the audience could like him, the 'beautiful' young criminal psychologist who was just in it to be the vulnerable female who he could save; a couple of benign Laurel and Hardy prisoners chained together, the bad prison guard and a couple of ships crew including Don Warrington who managed to stand out as terrible even in this set-up. Not forgetting the evil serial killer whose role in the film was to saunter from A to B within and outside a lighthouse with not a word to say or action to perform except look slightly peeved to ear splitting 'dramatic' music.
The direction for this film was lamentable. A pointless dream sequence kept being inserted to pad things out that had nothing to do with and no bearing on the proceedings. When music wasn't being used to disguise the black holes in this film, every manner of flashing light was used instead. Right near the end there is a insipid sequence of events whereby the female is shinning up and down a rope 100 feet from the ground hanging from the top of the lighthouse, our hero is having what looks like a fist fight at the top then he decides to join her on the rope leaving the killer to start cutting through it with his knife. Something else happens and the rope is suddenly on fire, we then have the scene where our hero is holding the woman by her hair in one hand whilst holding onto the rope in the other, obviously the director thought this was brilliant and lingered on this action. She then clung onto the frame of a window and the lighthouse wall like spiderman whilst our hero still one handedly carried on his fisticuffs with the villain who was stood at said window. All the while this music is blasting out and lights are flashing everywhere. I would seriously strongly warn anyone with epilepsy to avoid watching this film (as well as the rest of the population) it was incredibly irresponsible, worse than being in the middle of a disco. In fact our hero in the film had epilepsy and had a 5 second fit just to crank up the tension, it transpired he was also having a fit when someone shot his wife and framed him for it (honestly!)
All this nonsense culminated with them both swinging like tarzan into the lighthouse and the whole end portion of the film had the feel of a kiddies adventure movie to it.
Absolutely nothing to recommend.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars lighthouse, 17 April 2009
By 
David Leggett (williamston,nc usa) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lighthouse [DVD] (DVD)
i thought lighthouse was very creepy and well-made british horror film,very good suspenseful moments as well.i am glad i added this film to my collection.thanks,david
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