Jeered at Cannes, belatedly hailed as a masterpiece, guaranteed to inspire nightmares, David Lynch’s fever dream “prequel” to his 1990-91 cult TV smash Twin Peaks was dismissed by baffled critics and fans seeking tidy answers to lingering questions about the final days of ill-fated high school beauty queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee).
“In its own singular, deeply strange way, Fire Walk With Me is David Lynch’s masterpiece.” – Calum Marsh, Village Voice
But taken on its own terms, Fire Walk With Me is a purely Lynchian dreamscape, and perhaps the director’s darkest, most unsettling vision of what lurks beyond the neatly manicured facades of plastic suburban America. Coffee-loving FBI agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) is back on the scene – tracking an enigmatic killer from one bucolic Washington town to the next – as are the Log Lady, the Man from Another Place, the demonic parallel reality of the Black Lodge and the shape-shifting, stringy-haired demon known only as “Bob.” Filled with mystery, horror and the darkest of dark humor (as well as tantalizing references to the both the Jekyll and Hyde story and Little Red Riding Hood), and featuring two spellbinding set pieces – one in a nerve-wracking traffic jam and one in a noisy roadhouse known as the Pink Room – that are alone worth the price of admission, Fire Walk with Me is an unforgettable descent into the depths of human madness … and of Lynch’s singular cinematic imagination. (Dir. by David Lynch, 1992, USA, 135 mins., Rated R)