Spotlight : Willem Dafoe Vol. 1

The craggy faced gentle soul that is Willem Dafoe has graced our screens for decades. Usually playing a passive loveable character he is able to be an impressive creepy bad guy, either way he never fails to entertain. Please note that this list isn’t in an order of best to worse it’s just numbered for clarity.

06.The Hunter (2011)

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Martin

A balanced drama with an unwitting slice of fantasy science fiction. Willem stars as a hunter with a conscience that gets placed with the ultimate eco warrior family while he’s tasked to find the extinct Tasmanian Tiger. Bittersweet and warming, the film uncovers lots of dark secrets and see’s Martin (Dafoe) pushed to his limits both physically and mentally. His character is subtle; especially compared with the lippy Sass (Morgana Davies) who he has to partly care for with her Silent brother played by Dinn Woodlock. Sam Neill makes a shady appearance and the darkest character of them all is played by the stern Callan Mulvey as a rival hunter. Willem outshines them all in the simplest of ways. He really is a gem in this outstanding film. 9/10

05.Antichrist (2009)

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Man

One of the more disturbing movies of 2009 features a married couple, simple named He (Dafoe) and She (Charlotte Gainsbourg) who are suffering the loss of a child, during the healing process they retreat to a cabin to get away from the hustle and bustle and rediscover life and each other again. Filled with mysticism, and nightmarish scenes, the film is split into chapters with titles like Chapter Two : Pain (Chaos Reigns). and slowly details the deconstruction of both characters mentally and after some snippy scissors self castration and eye watering ball busting; quite physically. The film speaks on many levels, it’s stunning to watch and re-watching only brings up more questions and depth. 8/10

04.Platoon (1986)

Sgt Elias

Possibly one of the first films where I really noticed Willem, and even while out in the middle of the jungle during a war, he still comes across as the most peaceful man ever. Charlie Sheen is actually the “star” of the movie, being a young rookie looking for adventure out in Vietnam, when he soon realizes that the enemy might not be wearing a different uniform to him. The film deals with the atrocities of war, mostly performed by friendly troops. Without having the lead his legacy idle felt throughout the entire film. 8/10

03.Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

Max Schrek

This movie threw me for a while, I wasn’t quite sure how serious I should have taken it. I think Eddie Izzard tripped me up a little and there is something about Malkovich which was just so intense and bizarre. This is one of those films that manages to get Willem into the hearts and minds of all those little psychobilly kittens, he plays an astounding Nosferatu, or at least method acts as the method actor who played Nosferatu in the 1920’s classic. It’s an impressive silent performance from dafoe which really makes this movie strangely great.

02.Streets of Fire (1984)

Raven Shaddock

Walter Hills iconic cult classic Streets of Fire, is the ultimate American Neo-Noir rock musical with a classic storyline of good vs evil and after a bit of input from Kathryn Biglow, Walter chose the chished sly fox, Willem Dafoe for the role of the dark prince who kidnaps a rock princess and holds her up in his fortress. Bikes are traded for horses and the dark streets of Richond are the setting for the night time classic.

The greaser look is totally amped with Dafoe being classed in black leather throughout the movie and with the shadowy name of Raven I don’t think anything else can be fond to make him any more of a prince of darkness.

01.The Lighthouse (2020)

Thomas Wake

Originally sold as a dark and brooding psychological thriller, a lot of people walked away from the lighthouse thinking it’s creator has pranked us into watching an incredibly dark and twisted comedy. A loose attempt to complete an unfinished story by Edgar Alan Poe, Robert Eggers, has attempted to put himself and his tiny cast into a gothic nightmare.

At a remote island station, Ephrai Winslow arrives as an assistance light keeper to the elderly Thomas wake. As their time passes together the young Winslow finds himself falling down a rabbit hole as Wake’s strange habits and customs lead him to believe in a range of paranoid fantasies and encourages a host of mythological flashbacks.

Basically the two men lose their minds in a black and white, disturbing movie that no one could ever be prepared for. Dafoe has some of the best one liners of the movie including everyone’s favorite “ Yer fond of me lobster aint’ ye? I saw it – yer fond of me lobster! Say it! Say it.” but his ability to go through some difficult and weird scenes is commendable.

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