Lighthouse / Dead of Night (1999)

Director:Simon Hunter
Starring: James Purefoy, Rachel Shelley, Christopher Adamson, Paul Brooke, Don Warrington.UK. 1h 35m

Lighthouse was a random find at the local library, without knowing much the cover and category of horror was enough for me to part with some change for the mystery DVD which turned out to be quite an impressive budget serial killer movie although while horror movies often have some infamous bad decisions this one goes overboard.

James Purefoy is Spader, one of a number  of prisoners are being transported by ship to a new prison, unfortunately they run into problems and the boat sinks, a small group of survivors manage to swim to safety prisoners and guards have to band together as a much more deranged killer known as Rook is now loose, and with his tendency to be the kinda psychopath who kills anyone he sees they do everything they can to protect themselves on the lonely dark island and their only refuge is a run down lighthouse.

Like many other British horrors, Lighthouse has a gritty edge to it, the lack of budget doesn’t stop it from having great effects, ideas and a tons of artistic flare. A lot of study in abandoned buildings has led to a creepy atmosphere that is sometimes rare to see in psychological horrors. Usually the subject of stalkerish serial killer leads to cringy editing but this film remains clear throughout.

While quite a bit of art council money got thrown into this adventure, it’s still a straight to DVD film so don’t be expecting the best effects but Lighthouse does serve up a lot of tension and blood to make up for the lack of explosions and lack of decent acting, especially from Don Warrington who seemed to refuse to play his part. Purefoy does his best at being the young tall dark and handsome hero, despite being a prisoner, his bad deeds are soon forgotten as he has the ability to fight of the psychopath and he even catches a touch of romance from the only lady in the cast, Rachel Shelley who plays the ever loving Dr Kirsty McCloud.

Director Simon Hunter, created a wonderful isle for this splatter killer, the dark rocky beach and abandoned lighthouse give way for some super freaky scenes, he later returned with Mutant Chronicles (2008) with much more green screen effects and a stronger front man with Thomas Jane but it doesn’t have the same haunting atmosphere as this little known gem.

Rating  4/10

R: Cold Skin (2017)
L: Lighthouse Movies, Lost at Sea
5s: James Purefoy
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