Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me ★★★★★

The more I watch and the more I think about Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, the more inclined I am to think of it as a work of supreme underrated genius.

What David Lynch does here is compile a bunch of scenes that, when viewed individually, are ridiculous and ripe for parody, but when stitched together paint a terrifying portrait of a girl calling out for help. David Lynch is almost at his scariest, most confusing, most darkly humorous, most daring, if not for how scary, confusing, darkly humorous, and daring the rest of his filmography is.

What really gets me about this movie is how inevitable it all feels. Doubles have always been a common motif in Twin Peaks (the doppelgängers are the most obvious example), but here they're fully used to demonstrate the inevitability of the story. A common criticism of FWWM when it came out was that no new information was really gained (if anything it only worked to further muddy Twin Peaks' mythological waters) and it just presented things that we already knew happened. I think of it more like the narrative folding back in on itself, or circling back, like a Mobius strip. Every character is so powerless in this narrative, unable to save Laura, or themselves. And it's so fucking scary.

Sheryl Lee's performance seems to be a rather polarizing one, with the viewer either seeing it as melodramatic or over-the-top (though anyone in Laura's situation would probably act pretty over-the-top) or as a heartbreaking, incredibly strong performance. I'm more inclined toward the latter. Every breakdown, screaming fit, "gobble-gobble," every one I was right along for.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me is an extremely underrated film. It may not hold the answer in re: Twin Peaks's very confusing finale that we wanted to (and I still haven't watched The Missing Pieces, but it's my understanding that they also don't reveal too much), but when viewed with that readjusted expectation in mind, it is a heartbreaking and absolutely horrifying portrait of Laura Palmer.

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