Inland Empire

Movie Review by Susan Hodgetts

Starring: Laura Dern, Jeremy Irons, Justin Theroux, Harry Dean Stanton
Director: David Lynch

More Lynch weirdness from the man behind TWIN PEAKS, THE LOST HIGHWAY and MULHOLLAND DRIVE. Continuing with his main theme of exploring the female mindset, this time under the guise of a sophisticated horror movie, this Lynch movie is properly terrifying.

Actress Nikki Grace (Laura Dern) is overjoyed when she is hired to play the lead role in a huge Hollywood movie opposite Devon Berk (Justin Theroux). Until the pair find out that a previous attempt at the filming of “On High in Blue Tomorrows” was abandoned when the two leads were murdered; something that director Kingsley Stewart (Jeremy Irons) was less than up front about when signing them for the role. They are warned about the curse of 47, a Polish folk tale associated with the film’s script. Will the pair, and Nikki in particular, be able to survive the curse to complete the movie?

Everything about this film is creepy, from Jeremy Irons’ slightly off-centre director and Lynch’s extensive use of shots in semi-darkness, run-down apartments, shadowy doors, hallways and film back-lots. As always, his visual flair and ability to transfer his somewhat untamed imagination to the screen so effectively is simply stunning, and his talent in wringing such incredible performances from his actors is never less than impressive.

Peppering the film with his dry, clever black wit, Lynch also uses his trademark imagery of red lamps and screaming telephones, as well as his fascination with getting inside the female head and identity. He even re-employs most of his MULHOLLAND DRIVE cast. This is, however, Lynch at his scariest. Not everyone may want to see the contents of Lynch’s imagination and this film will be just downright weird for most people, and probably a little long at 3 hours. If you like frightening movies though with a classy touch, you may get some enjoyment from the confusion.

3 out of 6 stars

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