Watched this a little while ago.
Lynch is great at imbuing everything with a sense of danger. Nothing is safe, like in actual nightmares, where the link between threat and warning is broken. The first half plays out like a postmodern gothic story about domestic terror, a proper eerie exposition of the power of horror that strikes closest to home. Perspective switching between swooping interior presence and static overhead CCCTV observation. Zizek said something about the two parts representing the fear of normal life and then movie mad fantasy respectively.
“I like to remember things my own way.” Definitely feeling Videodrome from the taped messages, the weird man filming everything.
“This is some spooky shit we got here.” Authority is often hapless in his movies (it exists on the same level as childish innocence and fronted normality) but that makes the empty prison feel a bit weird. Can’t escape the feeling with this one that there’s enough bad stuff being done to real people by recognisable perpetrators that the fantasies of shadowy manipulators seems a little escapist (c/ Badalamenti in Mulholland Dr., BOB)
Really tips the omnivorous pastiche overboard here. Weird cameos (Richard Pryor as a wacky mechanic, Henry Rollins basically playing himself as a prison guard), the Edgar Wright coffee-table death, ridiculous soundtrack (Rammstein?). I will say that LH has possibly the funniest David Lynch moment I have seen: Mr. Eddy beating up a tailgater Ray Liotta-style on the side of the road, frothing and screaming statistics about road accidents.
Besides all that it too often feels like a David Lynch Starter Pack. Mulholland Dr. identity crisis, Blue Velvet perversion of innocence / the sub-Hopper performance from Loggia / horror on the lawn, Twin Peaks Coop in the mirror. This time my heart wasn’t in the task of putting the puzzle together. Perhaps would have been more intrigued in 1997 but we probably don’t need this one any more.
Bill Pullman should play Ted Hughes.
“Do you like pornos?”