Series Review: Twin Peaks – Season 1 (1990)

Time to finally start clearing this thing from the watchlist.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Twin Peaks” season 1!

When a young woman is found murdered in the quiet mountain town of Twin Peaks, an FBI agent (Kyle MacLachlan) is called in to try to find out what happened. And as we follow Agent Cooper’s investigation, we find out about the cheating, double-crossing, and other idiosyncrasies going on in the town.  So now we have our little crime series. Now, at first it seems like a relatively average crime story, if a bit quirky. But it doesn’t take long for “Twin Peaks” to show that it doesn’t play by the book too much, blending a whole bunch of genres at once. Now, in a lot of cases (pun intended), switching between different genres like this show does can end up quite poorly. But thanks to the unique atmosphere and writing style of the show, the blend of crime, melodrama, comedy, and mild psychedelia works quite well to give us one of the most uniquely enjoyable plots in a season of television.

The characters in this are quirky, fun, colorful, nuanced, and overall quite interesting. Kyle MacLachlan plays Dale Cooper, the FBI agent brought in to help investigate the murder of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). He’s a highly skilled agent, being able to figure things out about people by simple body language. He’s also quite a charming dude, being one of the most instantly likable characters I’ve had the pleasure of seeing. And MacLachlan is great in the role. I would describe more characters, but with their unique nature, I’d rather not, as they’re all best left experienced. But the supporting cast does include people like Michael Ontkean, Mädchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook, Richard Beymer, Lara Flynn Boyle, Ray Wise, Sherilyn Fenn, Peggy Lipton, Joan Chen, Michael Horse, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the series was composed by Angelo Badalamenti, and I think he did a really good job with it. It’s moody, suspenseful, emotional, a little meldoramatic, and even at times kinda fucking groovy. Most tracks get reused quite often, which could get old after a while, but the way these tracks are implemented throughout the show makes the recycling work quite well.

“Twin Peaks” was created by Mark Frost and David Lynch, with writing and directing by them and a bunch of other cool people. And they manage to create such a unique vibe for the show through these elements. Eerie, warm, fascinating, and even mildly surreal, there’s something about the style that makes it stand out, turning it into quite the intoxicating experience.

This show/season has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 96/100.  And on imdb.com it has a score of 8.8/10 and is ranked #54 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

Season 1 of “Twin Peaks” is pretty fucking good. It has a really good plot, great characters, great performances, really good music, and great writing/directing. Time for my final score. *AHEM*. My final score for “Twin Peaks” season is a 9,82/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Twin Peaks” season 1 is now completed.

Agent Cooper, a man after my own heart.

Movie Review: Late Phases (2014)

phase

We have covered a few different horror topics here with the Month of Spooks. We have covered zombies, spooky animation, murders on an island, slashers(Thank Zoë!), and haunted houses. So I guess it’s time to move on to something different… like werewolves.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Late Phases”.

Ambrose McKinley (Nick Damici) is an old, blind, war veteran who just moved into a retirement community. But the peace is very suddenly broken when his neighbor gets killed by a werewolf. So now Ambrose has one month to prepare for the next attack from the beast. I know… this sounds really dumb. But trust me, the plot here is surprisingly well handled. What we have here is a very unusual horror movie. It’s a slow-burning drama about this lonely man, who happens to inhabit the same world as a werewolf. I was genuinely surprised at how invested I was in the plot, I really wanted to see what happened next and how this bitter, blind, man was handling everything in his life. It really is a compelling plot.

The characters in the movie are all pretty interesting. Sure, some get less time than others when it comes to screen time, but they all have some kind of purpose in the grand scheme of things. Nick Damici is pretty damn great as Ambrose, playing him as this bitter, broken, man who has a bit of a rough relationship with his son. Speaking of which, his son is played by Ethan Embry who does a really good job in the movie too. You can tell that the relationship between Damici’s and Embry’s characters isn’t the best, which adds a lot to the drama. Really helps make these characters more compelling and interesting. Then we also get some really good supporting performances from people like Lance Guest, Tom Noonan, and Tina Louise (to only mention a few).

The original score was composed by Wojciech Golczewski and I think that it was really good. It really worked in the movie, somehow enhancing a lot of the scenes it was used in. Either helping to add emotion or tension to the scene. The score is haunting and definitely helped increase the quality of the movie.

This movie was directed by Spanish director Adrián García Bogliano, and I think he did a great job directing this, making a very tightly directed movie that both builds tension and drama throughout it’s 95 minute runtime. And when shit goes down it’s fucking glorious. Brutal, tense, and badass without being overly cheesy. And the visual effects in this are really good. Sure, there are parts where the werewolf looks pretty bad. As in, distractingly bad. But then there are also bits where the werewolf looks pretty damn great. I’m at least glad that they decided to do this with mostly practical stuff. Not sure if there is any CGI in the movie, but if there is then I couldn’t really notice it. But yeah, tight direction, good effects, some shitty werewolf stuff.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 69% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 51/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,9/10.

“Late Phases” is one of the most unexpectedly good movies that I’ve ever seen. A character-driven horror-drama with a good plot, good characters, great acting, great music, great directing, mostly good effects, and a badass final act. Though as I said, there are some times where the werewolves look like shit to a distracting degree. Time for my final score. *HOWLING NOISE!*. My final score for “Late Phases” is a 9,01/10. While not perfect, it’s most definitely worth buying!
Worth buying

My review of “Late Phases” is now completed.

Big thanks to youtube channel GoodBadFlicks for introducing this movie to me. If you’re not subscribed to him already, I suggest you go do it.