10 hallmarks of David Lynch in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me


With Twin Peaks: Firewalk With Me As it celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, fans should definitely check out David Lynch’s underrated classic.

The film which is a prequel to the original twin peaks Series follows the final days of Laura Palmer’s life as she struggles to live her double life and hide her secrets. It’s a beautiful but confusing watch, and it (kinda) asks the audience more questions than they had before watching it. At heart, however, it is a David Lynch film, and those hallmarks of his style rise throughout.


The Horror in Mundanity

While not a horror filmmaker, Lynch is known for producing films that are scarier than 99.9% of mainstream horror. Finding terror in seemingly mundane situations is a crucial part of Lynch’s vision as he believes in the perfect balance of light and darkness.

See Also: 10 Most Influential Modern Horror Directors

firewalk with me has an almost constant sense of impending doom, as if Laura Palmer knew her time was short. From a slow-motion shot of a fan lingering just a little too long to a family dinner scene that will spoil the appetite, Lynch brings horror to ordinary situations because he knows it’ll get the audience closer.

musician cameos

Lynch is known for casting big-name musicians as “supporting characters” in his films, such as his casting of Billy Ray Cyrus in 2001 Mulholland Drive and Sting in 1984 is often reviled dune. To the firewalk with meLynch is sticking to tradition.

The film has several musician cameos. Chris Isaak, the writer and performer of the hit “Wicked Game,” does a fine job as the utterly likable Chet Desmond, while David Bowie delivers his best Southern move as Philip Jeffries in a particularly memorable but far-fetched play Scene.

Offbeat humor

Here’s an aspect of Lynch’s work that often gets lost in all the talk about violence and sex: the humor. The films, despite their dark themes and Lynch’s writing, have plenty to laugh about firewalk with me retains this key element.

Most characters have their moment to shine. The buddy-cop dynamic between Chet Desmond and Sam Stanley is nothing short of fantastic – audiences deserve a spin-off – and Lynch’s character, Gordon Cole, is quite possibly one of the funniest characters to ever grace the screen. While this film is (probably) Lynch’s darkest, there’s plenty of humor to cut through.

Creepy sound design

Fans of Lynch’s work know that Lynch’s work doesn’t even have to be seen to be identified: it can be heard. From the industrial soundscapes of eraser to the ambient noise of Mulholland Drive and domestic empireLynch’s sound experiments create unforgettable new worlds.

in the firewalk with me, each location has its own unique soundscape. The town of Twin Peaks can be recognized by the unmistakable sound of the wind blowing through the trees. Wherever evil lurks, ominous ambient sounds and electrical hisses swirl away. The world of twin peaks is unlike anything the audience will ever hear.

Symbolic use of color

Lynch is notorious for his use of symbolism, as well as his admirable belief in making films “open to interpretation.” One of his most frequently used techniques is to provide objects or people with colors and thus place them in new contexts.

Also See: 10 Movies You Should Watch If You Appreciate Colorful Visual Aesthetics

firewalk with me is full of colorful (and symbolic) images: the Red Room, the Pink Room, the Black Hut…everything has its own unique color, and this color association gives meaning to each new location. Then there are objects like the green (formica) ring, but there are only a finite number of hours in a day.


Lynch has a fascination with dreams and dream sequences, and this is evident in his later works. From the psychogenic fugue of Abandoned highway a literal dream, or rather, a nightmare Mulholland DriveLynch uses dream logic to both captivate and horrify audiences.

Nothing really feels real in the town of Twin Peaks. One of television’s greatest characters, Special Agent Dale Cooper relies on his dreams for everything. In fact, it is his dream that makes him aware of the presence of Philip Jeffries. Laura Palmer is also prone to dreaming, only things don’t end well for her.

Original soundtrack by Angelo Badalamenti

Lynch and Badalamenti are known for their numerous collaborations dating back to 1986 blue velvet. The score for the twin peaks Series is perfection, but Lynch felt it was important to distinguish between the series and the film.

With firewalk with me, the score is far darker, moodier, and jazzier than any of their previous collaborations. The main theme is thoughtful and atmospheric, reminiscent of images of a detective sucking on a cigarette and sipping coffee from a stained mug. There’s plenty of variety, though: the song “Pine Float” swings like nothing else, and “A Real Indication” is a crazy idea that’s being carried through.

Kyle Maclachlan

Though he doesn’t appear in every David Lynch film, Kyle Maclachlan is Lynch’s most famous collaborator alongside Laura Dern. From his debut role as Paul Atreides in dune to his appearance as three characters in Twin Peaks: The Returnthe actor/director couple always achieves greatness.

in the firewalk with me, Maclachlan’s role is much smaller than usual, although his performance is no less memorable. He returns as Dale Cooper for a wonderful out-of-left-field sequence, only to disappear from the film forever. It’s a brilliant subversion of the audience’s expectations, who no doubt expect Cooper to be the protagonist after watching the show.

Psychologically complex female characters

Although he received quite a bit of criticism for his female characters, from Betty/Diane in Naomi Watts Mulholland Drive to Patricia Arquettes Renee/Alice in Abandoned highwayLynch’s understanding of character psychology is nuanced, to say the least.

Also see: 10 Underrated Psychological Horror Movies According to Ranker

With the character of Laura Palmer, the audience is transported into the world of someone whose life is a mystery to everyone, including herself at times. She keeps everyone at bay, but invites dangerous people into her life. She is a meteorite on her way to earth, her fate is already sealed. Without question, Laura Palmer is one of the most compelling characters of all time.


Lynch’s core philosophy as an artist is the subjective viewing of the audience. Everything he creates, be it a painting or a film, should be subjective and every interpretation is valid. From the boos at the Cannes Film Festival when Wild at heart won the Palme d’Or, the audience unequivocally agreed.

firewalk with me can be seen as more accessible than Lynch’s later works as there is a well defined narrative but so much happens for the audience to explore. Questions about why characters behave the way they do, even why they look the way they do, are all valid questions and go firewalk with me a treasure trove for analysis.

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