Well, after two seasons before its cancellation, Twin Peaks was a series that fans desperately wanted closure to. So when series co-creator David Lynch announced a film, fans went wild — until the word “prequel” popped up. This was in 1992.
Now, as a huge fan of Twin Peaks, not to mention all things Lynch, I don’t particularly mind a prequel. I actually enjoyed Fire Walk With Me. Any excuse to get back into that town is fine by me. After sitting through it, however, it’s obvious that this harkens more to a classic David Lynch film and less like a Twin Peaks production, which will turn off fans of the series.
Set both one year and one week before the events of the show, FWwM begins with the investigation into the murder of Teresa Banks, given the briefest of mentions on the show. Chris Isaak and Kiefer Sutherland portray the FBI agents sent by fan-favourite Gordon Cole (David Lynch) to look into the murder.
It flashes forward to the days prior to Laura’s death and how it happens. This may claim to be Twin Peaks, but it doesn’t feel like it. The locations used are almost unfamiliar, or underused. The R&R diner gets a 30-second shot and the Sheriff’s Station (along with the entire police force) isn’t seen at all.
From there, things just get…well, weird. As this is a film and not network television, Lynch gets away with the sex and violence, but it just feels wrong, somehow. Seeing Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) topless may fit well with her character, but it’s uncomfortable to watch.
As for the cast: while many townsfolk return, there are noticeable exceptions: Lara Flynn Boyle chose not to reprise her role of Donna Hayward. Her replacement, Moira Kelly, certainly dresses the part, but the change is obvious. Kyle MacLachlan’s part is reduced to almost cameo status (he feared being typecast) and other favourites such as Audrey, Big Ed, Pete, etc. are nowhere to be found.
As for closure, well, without spoiling anything, you get pretty much next to nothing in terms of what happened after the events of the series finale. But that’s David Lynch for ya!
If you enjoyed the show, or if you just love David Lynch, you might as well give Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me a go. It’s by no means a bad film, just be warned: this isn’t the same trip you took and things are going to get a helluva lot weirder before the credits roll.