If you had met David Lynch, or even watched him in a talk show interview, without any familiarity with his work past or present, you might think, “Well there’s a fine, upstanding Midwestern gentleman.” You’d smile with a reverence for his old school charms, his strong and saccharine speaking voice, his straight-forward and kindly demeanor. Chalking up his askew haircut to a foggy bathroom mirror, you’d determine that this was one of a dying breed of good old fashioned regular joes.
So, out of a newfound favor for the no nonsense fella, you might be inclined to check out something he’s directed. Perhaps a recent creation, like his new music video for the Nine Inch Nails song “Came Back Haunted.” And, promptly afteward, you might also be inclined to phone your psychiatrist — any psychiatrist, actually… the first German name that Google spits out at you will do just fine — because you’ll be drowning in a cesspool of festering nightmares. If the seizures don’t get you first.
Yes, Lynch’s new project is as weird, black, morose, over-the-top, and authentically interesting as any of his old wonders. Although, like most of the filmmaker’s works, it begs the question of whether or not Lynch is trying too hard to be strange, we know him to be a figure of such artistic integrity that we’d excuse what we might condemn from another artist.
Flashes of insectile organs and sharp-toothed Agent Coopers strike confusion and horror into each of us as we watch. But, as always with Lynch, that calamity of jagged emotions seems to be the point. So, job well done, ya beautiful loon.