mattstechel’s review published on Letterboxd:
It was great to finally give this the long overdue rewatch as i first saw this about 20 or so years ago in the college dorms and had zero idea what was supposed to be going on. This time i had somewhat of a better idea for better or worse and thanks to a slightly more familiarity with the show (slightly, not like a lot but I at least knew the character relations with one another was supposed to be which helped a bit) and I still didn't quite grasp what the hell we were supposed to be watching for like long chunks of this one, most of those chunks taking place in the second hour of the thing where it seems to go from following a narrative plotline to something more avant garde. I may just have to accept that I'm probably never gonna be much of a fan of Twin Peaks as much as it pains me to say. (Why does everyone have to speak in riddles so goddamn much?!?!?!?) Will that stop me from watching Twin Peaks: The Return at some point in time? (presumably when the libraries come back and I can actually request it) Being the Jim Belushi completist that i am--probably not!
I'm also not sure what the point was in even making a prequel movie to the series itself. Was there really that much more to know about the Laura Palmer character when she was alive and not all that well??? Going by this movie, it didn't strike me as being that imperative, I mean ok we get some backstory on her and shit that was going on in her life in the days before her murder and we get an idea that the backwards talking dwarf knows that the demon entity known as Bob is causing havoc, but (shrugs) I might have to throw my hands up in the air here because I don't know just what the fuck I was supposed to take away from all of this beyond Man that demon Bob sure caused a lot of mischief.
I did like a lot of the loopy dialog exchanges tho and the movie's very strong sense of atmosphere for the record--and i guess i kinda enjoyed to a degree the sheer challenge the movie posed of trying like hell to follow what was happening as stuff was going on and the various weird things were piling up, and there were moments here that felt quite a bit like trial runs for stuff that would take place in both Lost Highway AND Muholland Drive (both of which i liked waaaaayyyy more it should be said) but man I can't honestly rate this higher than two stars because again I had absolutely no idea what the fuck was going on in its second hour, which however intentional may have been was still incredibly vexing to me. So very, very, vexing!
I do like the idea of someone in August of 1992 somehow stumbling into this movie thinking that they'll just watch it--this has gotta be without a doubt one of the most abstract films ever released by a major studio in theaters nation wide. I'm trying to imagine studio execs making heads or tails of this watching it after it was completed. "Well you know its Twin Peaks, its a name brand, people'll show up just to see what its like and experience it for themselves" "Uhhh we're gonna bury this at the end of August" "Yeah that makes sense"