Once again, it is that wonderful time of the year: Halloween. The time of year to go out and scare people, get candy from a bunch of strangers, and watch horror films on a relentless level. While normally, I would start off with something that is definitive with the holiday, but not this time. This time, I’m going to do something a bit different…I’m going to take you to Twin Peaks.
The show spawned from the minds of David Lynch and Mark Frost has been a considered a TV classic and have been developed quite the fan base over the years. Shortly after the Second Season, David Lynch decided to create a film that served as a prequel to the series. The ending result was met with rather negative reception but later became to grow on people a little more as time passed. With the new season of the series reviving interest, it would obviously be a good time to take a look at the film to see how it holds up.
Synopsis: The film openings with the death of Teresa Banks as it is investigated by FBI Agents Chester Desmond (Chris Isaak) and Sam Stanley (Kiefer Sutherland) as well as following the last seven days of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) before her untimely and mysterious death in the town of Twin Peaks, Washington.
One thing the film has some problems with is with its plot. There was about Ninety Minutes of footage that was cut from the original cut (which would have ended being around Five Hours long) and there was a lot of important scenes that ended up not being in the film such as the majority of David Bowie’s performance as the missing FBI Agent Phillip Jeffries (it’s a bit weird to see him talk in a Cajun accent). With that in mind, it does feel like there are some things in the film that aren’t explained very well or were left out. Thankfully though, all the cut scenes are available to be seen and some have even made fan edits of the film with them integrated back into the film (which does help improve the film).
One of the rather disappointing aspects of the film was, surprisingly, Laura Palmer. In the TV Show, she is seen as an icon. She’s practically worshiped or adored by everyone in the whole town and looked upon as somewhat of a perfect individual. Obviously, the film takes the time to flesh her out as the human being she was in Twin Peaks instead of the perfect image she is known to be. It was too be expected but since we know everything about her already from the series, she came off as bland. She came off as a typical teenager with a wild side to her and is stuck with an unfortunate home life. It is a bit underwhelming in that regard.
If there is one thing that is consistent with the series, the film is just a surreal as the show.
We get treated to the usual Lynchian flare of violent and dark imagery whether in Twin Peaks, Laura’s Dreams, or in the Black Lodge with the Man From Another Place, BOB, MIKE, and Dale Cooper (All of whom giving Laura Palmer warnings throughout the movie). Of course, if you’re Lynch buff (like myself), you will get a lot of enjoyment out of it and will be strange for those not familiar with his work.
Final Thoughts: It’s a bit of a mixed bag. It has a lot that really needed to be put back in the film and it may not be as engaging as the show when you may have seen it already (though if you haven’t, watching this first would be not be wise since it gives away massive spoilers). Some people may like it, some might not.