New Line Cinema | Release Date: August 28, 1992 CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION
Mixed or average reviews based on 29 Critic Reviews
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This may be the most truly disturbing movie to come along since Lynch's Blue Velvet of 1986...But for those who are willing to go the distance with Lynch, the return trip to Twin Peaks is well worth the trouble. [31 Aug 1992]
The details of this Twin Peaks are slight and repetitious, and their meanings are numbingly obvious. Behind small town America's facade of sweetness and light, there exist darkness and evil-news that is a day late and about $7.50 short. [28 Aug 1992]
What the movie is all about is Twin Peaks with the sex, violence and "colorful" language left in...Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is not David Lynch at his most challenged and hence most inventive. The rigid restraints of television, with its prudish codes and goofy winks at prurient-life-as-we-know-it, may now be seen as Lynch's real muse. The movie, lurid as it is, reads like a perverse set of CliffNotes to the series, the details recapitulated explicitly but without a dram of passion. [2 Sept 1992, p.E1]
Judged by the standards of ordinary filmmaking, it's as strange, suggestive, and surreal as other Lynch pictures have been. Judged by the standards of Lynch's own career, however, it's amazingly stale and second-hand… [and] contains not a single moment of genuinely felt emotion. [1 Sept 1992]
Los Angeles TimesMichael Wilmington
It's the most outwardly sleazy of all Lynch's movies, the rawest and raunchiest, the least circumspect. Full of striptease and scandal, violence, orgy and feverish nightmare, the movie is a kind of mass opening of the sewers that always lay beneath Twin Peaks' placid streets... But it does cap off a pop-cultural landmark, with all the bad taste and high style required. [31 Aug 1992]
The Hollywood ReporterRobert Osborne
David Lynch probably should have let Laura Palmer stay dead. Twin Peaks -- Fire Walk With Me, a feature film prequel to the much-discussed, much-admired TV series by Lynch, is a wearing experience that apparently intrigued the director as little as it inspired him.[28 Aug 1992]
Except for a brief episode in which singer Chris Isaak and Kiefer Sutherland make like an FBI Rocky and Bullwinkle, this is a morbidly joyless affair. You'll feel as drained as one of Cooper's mugs of joe watching homecoming queen Laura drown in a whirlpool of sex and drugs. [31 Aug 1992]
San Francisco ChronicleMichael Snyder
It's all rather haphazard, and fans will wait in vain for Sheriff Harry S Truman, rich girl sexbomb Audrey Horne and the rest, or for more Cooper. Brief bits that avid viewers can understand will render the film incomprehensible to the new viewer. [29 Aug 1992]
Mostly, though, Lynch fills the screen with a lot of cynically off-putting and sadistic violence. In place of incident, character and a bemused view of small-town life, corrupt beneath its cherry-pie surface, we are essentially asked to witness torture - mostly of Laura Palmer, as her troubles lead her to self-destruct with drugs and promiscuity, including a couple of side trips to the Canadian bordello known as One-Eyed Jacks. For all the violence in Lynch's "Blue Velvet," that film maintained a comic dimension. The violence in "Wild at Heart," for all its extravagance of gesture, was hollow - stylized, not real...Here, there's no comedy, nothing surreal, just wave after wave of titillation. Except that it doesn't titillate. It depresses. There's no psychic charge on any of it. It proceeds from no artistic conviction, just from a cynical desire to squeeze a few more bucks from the already overworked corpse of Laura Palmer. It shows how quickly a creative impulse can be exhausted - from quirky originality toying with humanity's darker impulses to dispirited quasi-porn. [29 Aug 1992, p.23]
Tampa Bay TimesJanis D. Flroelich
The film, which follows homecoming queen Laura Palmer's last seven days before her murder, is dark, pointless and tortuously boring to watch. [1 Sept 1992, p.1D]
TimeStaff (Not Credited)
After an agonizing first half-hour designed to empty the theater, Lynch unleashes his patented perfervid style, puts the familiar dwarfs and feebs on display and elicits a nicely horrifying turn from Lee. [7 Sept 1992]