A new keeper arrives at a lighthouse near where some mysterious sightings have been reported. An undercover naval officer and a female detective appear on the scene, and discover a wreckers' plot to black out the lighthouse and lure ships ashore to be plundered.
The Phantom Light marked the end of Powell's apprenticeship. A stage play once again had to be transformed into a film, and Powell took full advantage of the opportunities offered by a tale of wreckers taking over a remote lighthouse. From the shock opening of a zombie haunting the lighthouse to the brilliant climax, in which a ship heading for disaster is intercut with the final struggle between good and evil amid the lighthouse's equipment, he squeezes the maximum visual and dramatic impact from every sequence, however risible the premiss. Powell learned how to improvise and transcend often appalling scripts and actors.
Ian Christie (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger: Arrows of Desire)