Pattinson and Dafoe play lighthouse keepers in 1890s New England. The black and white film appears in the 4:3 "Academy Ratio" of old Hollywood films before widescreen became standard.
The lighthouse keepers sit in the lighthouse talking. Dafoe asks Pattinson, "What" over and over again until Pattinson starts responding in kind. Before the end of the trailer, the two actors are asking each other 'What?' until it boils over and Dafoe screams at Pattinson.
A24 is keeping the plot of The Lighthouse mysterious. Their synopsis only calls it a "hypnotic and hallucinatory" tale of the two lighthouse keepers.
Writer/director Robert Eggers' previous film, The Witch, was a period piece set in colonial New England with a family of farmers who blame a witch for the disappearance of their baby.
The Lighthouse had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May. It also played at the Toronto International Film Festival. It will play London, Vancouver and more festivals before its theatrical release.
Pattinson will next appear in The King, Waiting for the Barbarians, The Devil All the Time, Christopher Nolan's Tenet and then he will play the Caped Crusader in The Batman. Dafoe next appears in Motherless Brooklyn, Tommaso, The Last Thing He Wanted and The French Dispatch.