Cert 15 Stars 4

This demanding and demented gothic horror about a pair of 1890’s lighthouse keepers is as far from the Adventures of Portland Bill as Dorothy was from Kansas.

As uncompromising as the rain-lashed stump of rock off the US’s Atlantic coast on which they begin a four week stint of duty, it’s a barking study in madness from Robert Eggers.

Having previously directed 2015’s acclaimed art house horror The Witch, which was also creepy if low on scares, the atmospheric black-and-white photography is nominated for Best Cinematography at the Oscars.

Committing to their roles with impressive vigour, Willem Dafoe plays a one-legged crabby old sea dog, from whom Robert Pattinson is supposed to be learning the ropes.

But with the weather even more foul than a British summertime picnic, they punctuate their drudgery with dancing, drinking and violence, they lose all sense of time as their sanity is battered by hallucinations, seagulls, storms, and sexual fantasies about mermaids.

Pattinson also goes batty in his next film, playing Gotham City’s Caped Crusader in next years superhero reboot.