Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me ★★★½

It’s difficult to assess the contemporary re-assessment of what I remember being a critical and commercial failure when it was released in theaters with great anticipation. The film has problems that seem to be forgiven in most recent reviews I’ve read - the first of which is a 35-minute prologue that adds up to little more than an attempt to hook the cineplex audience cool guest stars (David Bowie, Chris Isaak) doing cool Twin Peaks universe stuff, while speaking in particularly jilted dialogue (even for a prequel/sequel to what is essentially a psychodramatic soap opera). But to David Lynch’s credit, beyond being an R-rated exercise in fan service (detailing the last week of the life whose death drove the ground-breaking series’ narrative), Fire Walk with Me works well enough in its own right as a (semi-)surrealistic exploration of the horror of familial sexual abuse (e.g., the repressed memories of the missing pages from the diary, the psychology behind the abuse (“he wants to be me or he’ll kill me”), etc.).