The Lighthouse is a great psychological horror movie for many reasons. Director Robert Eggers’ attention to detail is meticulous, creating a vivid and immersive world that feels like it was plucked straight out of the early 20th century. If you enjoyed watching this movie, then for your consideration we have curated a list of 12 chilling horror movies like The Lighthouse. Have a look!
Shot in a 1.19:1 aspect ratio and black-white cinematography, the movie gives a feeling of claustrophobia and the sense that the characters are trapped in their surroundings. The performances of Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe are also outstanding. They fully commit to their roles as 2 lighthouse keepers who slowly descend into madness, delivering some of the most memorable and unsettling scenes in recent cinematic history. But what truly makes The Lighthouse a great movie is its exploration of eerie human psyche, power dynamics and masculinity. It’s a deeply psychological film that leaves a lasting impact on viewers, challenging them to grapple with its haunting imagery and complex ideas.
List of Movies Like The Lighthouse
1. The Witch (2015)
The Witch tells the story of a Puritan family living in colonial New England in the 1630s. When their newborn baby mysteriously disappears, the family begins to turn on each other as they become convinced that a witch is responsible for the child’s disappearance.
As the family’s fear and paranoia escalate, they are forced to confront the darkness within themselves and their community. Similar to movies like The Lighthouse, The Witch is an atmospheric horror that builds a sense of dread and unease in remote locations. Be ready to have The Witch leave a lasting impression on you!
2. Midsommar (2019)
A24’s Midsommar featuring florence pugh’s break-out performance is story of a young woman named Dani (Florence), who is dealing with the recent loss of her family. She joins her boyfriend Christian and his friends on a trip to a remote Swedish village to participate in a festival that only occurs once every 90 years. If you’ve already seen it, check out our list of films like Midsommar.
At first, the festival seems idyllic, with the locals welcoming the group with open arms and showing them their unique customs. But as the days go by, the festivities take a darker turn, and the visitors realize that they have stumbled a place that has sinister plans for them. So if you like surreal and hallucinatory journey’s in movies like The Lighthouse, then you should surely watch Midsommar.
3. Hereditary (2018)
Hereditary is a supernatural horror film that follows the Graham family, who begins to experience strange and terrifying events following the death of their secretive grandmother. As the family tries to cope with their grief, they uncover the truth about dark and sinister history that has haunted them for generations. If you’ve already seen this horror masterpiece, check out our list of movies like Hereditary.
Toni Collette delivers a powerhouse performance as the mother, Annie, whose unraveling mental state becomes increasingly disturbing as the story progresses. Similar to The Lighthouse, this film features an eerie and unsettling imagery, culminating in a shocking finale that will leave audiences breathless. I will highly recommend you see this skillfully weaved family dysfunction story after movies like The Lighthouse.
4. The Babadook (2014)
The Babadook tells the story of Amelia, a single mother struggling to raise her troubled son, Samuel, who is convinced that a monster from a children’s book called “The Babadook” is haunting them. As the tension builds up, Amelia starts to experience the same hallucinations as her son, and the line between reality and fantasy becomes blurred.
The gives an excellent and unsettling view on the grief and mental illness, and trauma.. Not only were the performances by Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman are outstanding, but the cinematography create a maddening atmosphere of Babadook that similar to movies like The Lighthouse will stay with you long after the movie ends.
5. The Ritual (2017)
4 friends who go on a hiking trip in the remote Swedish wilderness to honor the memory of their friend who died in a robbery. After taking a shortcut through the woods, they stumble upon an ancient pagan cult that worships a monstrous deity. As they try to survive, they discover that their fears and guilt are manifested in horrific ways.
The Ritual has some stunning cinematography that captures the haunting beauty of the forest and a tense atmosphere. The performances are also noteworthy, especially Rafe Spall’s portrayal of the guilt-ridden Luke, reminding us of the psychological breakdown of the protagonist in movies like The Lighthouse.
6. The Wicker Man (1973)
The Wicker Man revolves around Sergeant Howie, a devoutly Christian police officer who travels to the remote island of Summerisle in search of a missing girl. Though upon arriving on the island, he discovers that the inhabitants have their own unique pagan beliefs and customs, which he finds both disturbing and fascinating.
As Howie investigates the girl’s disappearance, he becomes increasingly entangled in the island’s rituals and discovers a dark conspiracy at the heart of the community. The film’s climax is one of the most unforgettable and chilling endings in horror cinema. If you’re a fan of horror films like The Lighthouse, then this cult classic The Wicker Man which inspired generations of horror fims that came after is truly worth a watch!
7. The Shining (1980)
The Shining is amongst the most popular horror movies ever made. Directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the novel by the iconic writer Stephen King, this story revolves around the Torrance family, who move to an isolated hotel, The Overlook, to look after it during the winter season.
The father, Jack Torrance, is a struggling writer with a history of alcoholism and violence. Just like in The Lighthouse, the isolation and supernatural forces at the hotel begin to take a toll on his psyche, causing him to descend into madness and attempt to murder his wife and son. The film is known for its iconic scenes, such as the twin girls and the “Here’s Johnny!” moment. It has become a cult classic and is widely regarded as one of the greatest horror movies of all time.
8. Annihilation (2018)
Annihilation is a sci-fi movie based on Jeff VanderMeer’s novel of the same name. The story follows a group of female scientists and a paramedic who venture into a mysterious, rapidly expanding, and mutating zone called The Shimmerto investigate its origin and strange behavior.
Once inside, the team led by Lena (Natalie Portman) faces surreal landscapes, deadly creatures that challenge their sanity and perception of reality. As they move deeper, the members of the expedition begin to unravel their own secrets and traumas and confront the possibility that they might not make it out alive. The reason why a fan of movies like The Lighthouse should watch this is because of the Annihilation visually stunning visuals challenge the lines between reality and fantasy.
9. Possession (1981)
Possession tells the story of Anna (Isabelle Adjani) and Mark (Sam Neill), a couple going through a bitter divorce. As their relationship deteriorates, Anna becomes increasingly erratic and obsessed with a mysterious creature, which she hides in her apartment. Meanwhile, Mark becomes entangled with a woman named Helen (also played by Isabelle Adjani), who looks strikingly similar to Anna.
As the film progresses, the lines between reality and delusion blur, and the characters’ psychological torment reaches a fever pitch. The similarity between Possession and movies like The Lighthouse lies in their surreal atmospheres, problemed characters, and both films are shot in a deliberately stylized manner, with distorted camera angles and a limited color palette that emphasizes their oppressive environments. Controversial upon its release for violence and mysogyny, Possesion, has since become a landmark of 1980s horror cinema.
10. Black Swan (2010)
Another on of Natlie Portman’s film Black Swan also showcases one of her best performances gaining her the Academy Award for Best Actress. Black Swan Natlie Portman as Nina, a ballerina played by Natalie Portman, who is cast in the lead role of “Swan Lake.” As Nina prepares for the performance, she becomes increasingly obsessed with perfection and consumed by the duality of the Swan Queen character.
The stress and pressure of the role, combined with Nina’s fragile mental state, lead to a descent into madness as she struggles with her identity, reality, and her relationships with her fellow dancers. SImilar to films like The Lighthouse Black Swan is symbolyical, haunting and intense exploration of the dark side of human ambition, art, and sanity.
11. The Neon Demon (2016)
When Jesse, a 16-year-old aspiring model who moves to Los Angeles to pursue her dream, her natural beauty and innocence attract the attention of a predatory and competitive fashion world. The Neon Demon looks at Jesse becoming the target of jealousy and envy of other models and industry insiders, which leads to a series of horrific events that challenge her sanity and survival.
The reason I recommend you this movie is because of how it brings power, desire, and the human psyche’s darker aspects. As Jesse climbs up the ranks of the modeling industry, Jesse discovers the dark side of the industry and the lengths people will go to remain on top. For movies similar to The Lighthouse , The Neon Demon beauty, obsession, and the ruthless pursuit of success is intoxicating.
12. Under the Skin (2013)
Under the Skin follows an alien being (played by Scarlett Johansson) who takes on a human form to lure and capture unsuspecting men in Scotland. As she goes about her mission, she begins to question her purpose and identity, leading to a profound and unsettling transformation.
The film has very polarizing reviews, but those who like it call it a masterpiece for its innovative technology in filming and often call it a very Stanley Kubrick-esque movie for the eerie symmetrical shots. Under the Skin might come of as a bit confusing at first but can be a thought-provoking and deeply unsettling film similar to THe Lighthouse for you to watch.
Here’s a few movies like The Lighthouse that didn’t make this list, but you can check them out nonetheless:
- Suspiria (2018)
- Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
- Don’t Look Now (1973)
- The Thing (1982)
- The Vanishing (1988)