I love David Lynch. He infuses everything he creates with a weirdness that is almost cosmic. There is a disturbing undertone to all of his works that is punctuated by moments of outright terror. Each of his films and shows are filled with moments that once you’ve seen them stay embedded in your mind forever. He has a way of placing the viewer inside of someone else’s dream (or nightmare), and making us reflect on the darker parts of ourselves.
I came to David Lynch by way of Eraserhead (1977), Blue Velvet (1986) and Wild at Heart (1990), the latter of which is one of my favorite movies of all time.
And I would heartily recommend all of his films, but I have a special love for Twin Peaks, his television drama that ran for 30 episodes between 1990-1991. It’s a slow burn that may not immediately impress you, but it is so worth your time, especially if you’re a horror fan.
Twin Peaks is a cross between a noirish murder mystery, a horror movie and a soap opera. It follows FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper as he comes to the small town of Twin Peaks, Washington to investigate the murder of a young woman named Laura Palmer, whose body is found wrapped in plastic on a river bank. Agent Cooper is a bit of an odd bird, but so is just about every person in Twin Peaks. And as Cooper spends more and more time there, we get to meet more of the townspeople. And that’s where Lynch’s ability to show us the dark corners of small town life and of ourselves really shines. The combination of that small town horror and the nature of the killer really provide the core of the show.
Is it cheesy? Yeah. Is it totally weird? Yup. And it does start to fall apart a bit in the back half of the second season. But despite its flaws, Twin Peaks is an absolute treasure. The tone, the atmosphere, the characters and the moments are just awesome.
I’m going to be re-watching all 30 episodes before the new series arrives in 2017. If you’ve never watched it before, I invite you to come and visit Twin Peaks with me. Agent Cooper is waiting for us.