Chronicling the last days of a teenage girl that leads to her murder, which is linked to a previous F.B.I case.
Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me like it's TV series has found its place in entertainment history, no doubt with season 3 of Twin Peaks on the way it'll find more fans along the way. Firstly it's probably essential that both seasons of Twin Peaks are viewed prior to David Lynch's spin off as it will make little sense without its predecessor. As a standalone film it simply doesn't work unless viewed as a piece of art house as it acts as a prologue and epilogue to the TV show.
Lynch's Fire Walk with Me is a dark, seedy and edgy prequel with the expected atmosphere, satire and surrealism. The theme music returns along with many of the cast of the original show. Like it's ground breaking cult TV parent it's unorthodox, somewhat non linear storytelling with a masked child, a red suited dwarf and its bizarre operatic style and humour. It's sexually graphic, slow paced, off beat and unpleasant.
Twin Peaks series regulars Lara Flynn Boyle, Sherilyn Fenn and Richard Beymer do not return. There are an array of bit parts from the likes of Lynch himself to David Bowie and Kiefer Sutherland. Donna has been recast by Moira Kelly which is a shame but only from a continuity perspective. Special Agent Dale Cooper Kyle MacLachlan, Ray Wise, Chris Isaak appear to name just a few but the focus is on Sheryl Lee as Laura Palmer throughout. Like the show it's difficult to judge the performances given the subject matter's own style.
It charts Laura's drug abuse, loneliness, shame, guilt, confusion and the devastation of incest. And also deals with the perverse torment of the father. The themes are heavy and are a lot to stomach. This is not fun viewing and caution is advised.
Some critic's and fans have grumbled it adds nothing new, but I disagree slightly, okay so you know who killed Palmer but it gives you a further insight into her mindset and Agent Cooper's fate having been trapped in the Red Room and replaced by Bob, there's hope of escape in the clues that lay in Laura's foresight laced diary.
Fire Walk with Me does suffer from a TV feel possibly by design for linkage to the show, it's unlikely due to lack of production values. It's far from the polished Mullholland Drive (which originally was intended as a spin off film).
Like the series, Fire Walk with Me is one of those fictional worlds that you either buy into it or you don't. Intended for completist fans only.