In the manga world, few artists attract such a mixture of admiration and thrills like Junji Ito, author of the body horror epic “Uzumaki”. Now he’s lending his talents to a manga adaptation of a cult horror film that aligns closely with his art style: “The Lighthouse” by Robert Eggers.
In 2019, “The Lighthouse” won over horror enthusiasts with its claustrophobic story of two men, played by Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, tasked with operating a lighthouse during a season of torrential storms. But soon supernatural forces trap Lighthouse Island in chaos, and the two turn to see who should take care of the Lighthouse Lantern, which holds a mysterious power.
“The Lighthouse” was due for release in Japan last year but has been postponed to July 9, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To support the film, Ito has created an 8 page manga explaining the history of the film which will be distributed to moviegoers who purchase a ticket.
For anyone familiar with Ito’s work, “The Lighthouse” suits him perfectly. His manga and the Eggers film are presented in black and white and deal with psychological horror. Ito’s most famous work, “Uzumaki”, shares a theme with “The Lighthouse” of being trapped by an unknown and malicious force. The horror series takes place in a seaside town called Kurozu-cho, where an unknown curse causes spiral shapes to appear everywhere, even in clouds and plants. Over the course of the series, the townspeople are terrifyingly consumed by the curse, twisting and maiming their bodies in a way Ito portrays in graphic detail that has become his signature style.
“Uzumaki” is now being turned into a 4-part miniseries to be released on Adult Swim in October 2022 as part of its Saturday night Toonami block, with songwriter “Hereditary” and “Red Dead Redemption 2” “Colin Stetson providing the soundtrack. The disgusted might want to stay away, but if you’re a fan of “The Lighthouse” it might be worth checking out.