'Twin Peaks' was a sensation when it hit our television screens in 1990, but interest quickly fizzled.
The show follows the lives of residents of the sleepy Washington state town of Twin Peaks who have their lives turned upside down the prom queen Laura Palmer is murdered.
Upon debuting in 1990, the show became a cultural phenomenon like no other, with the show firmly establishing David Lynch as one of the culture's great artistic minds.
The quirky tone, strange characters and the dashes of Lynch surrealism made the show a hit, but interest quickly tapered off when the show's killer was revealed midway through season 2, supposedly at the behest of the network ABC.
Season 2 of the show follows the lives of the residents of the town, before the show introduces the Windom Earle plot line in the final few episodes.
The second season famously ends on a cliffhanger which would not be resolved until the 2017 revival (and even then..).
Fans' opinions differ on season 2, with some calling it overstuffed soap opera tedium, while others calling it an exploration of the American small town psyche.
The core mystery of what happened to Laura Palmer still intrigued fans, and shortly following the series' cancellation, Lynch set about to explore the darker, hidden side of Laura Palmer that was only alluded to in the series.
'Twin Peaks' is famous for its surreal horror imagery, and while it did push the envelope of what was acceptable on primetime television in terms of violence, Lynch was somewhat restrained by the confines of the television.
The film version of 'Twin Peaks' is pure, distilled Lynch.
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
The credits sequence for 'Fire Walk With Me' is Lynch's thesis statement: a bowling ball smashes a television in the opening credits.
The 'Garth Marenghi's Darkplace' quote "I know writers who use subtext and they're all cowards" springs to mind, but Lynch had to be that direct and literal with his metaphor.
Fans who showed up to 'Fire Walk With Me' expecting quirky small-town antics were on notice - this was not going to be the 'Twin Peaks' experience they expected.
Fan and critical reception to the film upon release in 1992 was, for a lack of a better term, brutal.
The film was greeted with hostile reviews from critics, with Roger Ebert writing in his review "I thought the new Lynch was a shockingly bad film, simpleminded and scornful of its audience, which can only be defended only with the "so bad it's good" routine."
With 'Fire Walk With Me', the strange stilted atmosphere and having contempt for the audience is the point.
The film is an unrelenting portrayal of keeping secrets in a small town where everyone knows each others business, and to an Irish audience, this has resonance.
David Lynch's version of suburbia as seen in 'Blue Velvet' and even 'Mulholland Drive' depicts a wholesome version of America with a seedy underbelly, and nowhere is this thesis statement more apparent than the big screen outing for 'Twin Peaks'.
The opening stretch of the film takes place in the mirror universe version of Twin Peaks, and the residents of Deer Meadow are the polar opposite of what we've come to expect.
FBI agents Keifer Sutherland and Chris Isaak are called in to investigate the murder of Teresa Banks, and straight away, the audience is caught off-guard.
The usually charming locals have been swapped out with prickly and surly types, with the local law enforcement being hostile and stand off-ish and the waitress in the town diner a bitter and rude host.
Right from the off, the audience is caught flat-footed, with the charm and wit we've come to expect from the town of Twin Peaks gone out the window.
When the plot eventually picks back up in everyone's favourite town, the vibes are decidedly off.
David Lynch does atmosphere better than no other director and can make a scene set in broad daylight unsettling.
Triangle Of Sadness
Lynch's films have many themes, but Lynch does not get enough credit for making his films incredibly sad.
The tinge of melancholy is the driving force behind the iconic pilot episode for 'Twin Peaks', and the film version is permanently tinged in a blue hue of emptiness.
There is barely any levity to be found in the film, and in the case of any other film, the lack of levity and wit makes a film an enduring slog, but here the sheer depression permeating through the film is a propulsive force.
The cut released in cinemas clocked in at 2 hours 15, but over 45 minutes were left on the cutting room floor to make the film flow better.
In 2014, these deleted scenes were released as part of the 'Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces' boxset.
Enterprising fans have edited these scenes into the film, with Q2'S cut bumping the film up to over 3 hours, and this edit is the purest form of the film.
The existing movie is already a fairly slow-paced watch with plenty of scenes of longing contemplation, and adding an extra hour to the film gives the film more breathing room and letting the melancholy wash over you.
'Fire Walk With Me' is anchored by a powerhouse performance from Sheryl Lee, and is one of the finest pieces of acting in the Lynch filmography.
Lynch is no stranger to incredible performances in his movies, with Dennis Hopper in 'Blue Velvet' and Naomi Watts in 'Mulholland Drive' springing to mind, but Sheryl Lee's turn in 'Fire Walk With Me' may be the finest performance captured by Lynch.
The iconography of a washed-up Lee in a body bag in the pilot episode was a part in the show becoming a hit, and Lee's performance as Laura Palmer in her final days makes that pilot episode hit that much harder.
Lee plays Palmer with a sense of inevitably, and there is a sense that her habits are going to catch up to her eventually, but she must indulge in those habits to escape the misery that has been inflicted upon her life.
Lee's performance is a one-woman wail, and the film is able to surpass the television series thanks to Lee's haunting performance.
The film is intended to be both a prequel and sequel to the series, and as 'Better Call Saul' has shown us, great actors and directors can conjure an incredible amount of tension out of something we already know.
Ray Wise's performance as Leland Palmer is a masterclass in unsettling terror, with his cool, calm facade eroded by his volcanic flashes of evil.
It is easy to see why 'Fire Walk With Me' was a critical and commercial bomb - the film was too radical for audiences to appreciate.
Much like how 'The Thing' was an impeccably directed exercise in misery, 'Fire Walk With Me' is an unrelenting march that has improved with age.
The film has received a major critical reappraisal in recent years, with fans and critics alike singing its praises prior to the 2017 reboot.
By bringing the world of 'Twin Peaks' to the big screen, viewers were able to see another side of the town that they hadn't before.
People certainly tuned in for Audrey dancing to jazz music, the quirky misadventures of Nadine and Big Ed and Agent Cooper's strange ways of solving a mystery, but 'Fire Walk With Me' exposes the roots of the town.
The town is just as much a character as Bobby, James or Donna, and by showing that the town is where dreams go to die, Lynch created a beautiful, twisted fairytale.
The television could not contain Lynch's vision, and the world of cinema is all the richer for it.