Twin Peaks: The 7 Scariest Moments - VRGyani News and Media


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Twin Peaks: The 7 Scariest Moments

Considered by many to be one of David Lynch's (Eraserhead) finest works and a golden standard for TV shows, Twin Peaks is well-known for its nebulous amalgamation of drama, police procedural, psychological horror, and comedy genres. As expected, there's also plenty of David Lynch's token strangeness spread throughout the show's three seasons and its movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992). For horror fans that may be curious about the series, it doesn't have gratuitous violence or gore, but the tone and eerie atmosphere are unmistakable.

The story follows FBI Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), who arrives in the sleepy logging town of Twin Peaks, Washington to investigate the murder of the local homecoming queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). The townspeople are largely influenced by the murder of such a vibrant young girl, who was beloved by many. However, it quickly becomes clear that Laura had plenty of demons, and many inhabitants of the town aren't as innocent as they might seem. Not only this, but there are unseen evils at work that Agent Cooper cannot rightly fathom as he drives deeper into his investigation.

David Lynch and Mark Frost (Hill Street Blues) have crafted moments in Twin Peaks that range from slightly disturbing to downright terrifying. This is reflected in the show's influential legacy and its popularity resulting in Twin Peaks: The Return (2017), the series' long-awaited third season. The Return in particular showcases some truly dark and disturbing moments, but those that are curious about Twin Peaks won't be left hanging watching the first two seasons either. Below are some of the most memorable and unsettling scenes in Twin Peaks' storied run.

Ronette's Dream of Laura's Murder ("May the Giant Be With You")

Ronette Pulaski (Phoebe Augustine) was the unfortunate soul who found herself with Laura Palmer on the night she was murdered. Surviving, she is discovered early on in the show, bloody and traumatized by a nearby bridge, and she spends the majority of the first season comatose in a hospital bed. At the beginning of the second season, however, she begins to writhe and moan in bed as she mentally recollects the night of the murder.

A night Ronette expected to be full of sex and cocaine turned into a traumatic and horrific moment in hell. A long-haired man known as BOB (Frank Silva) kidnapped the two girls and took them to a train car, where he murdered Laura. The sequence is one that watchers won't forget easily. The initial establishing shots feature long hallways of Twin Peaks' hospital with almost no audible sound, and one flickering fluorescent light. As Ronette's dream begins, there are quick cuts and fades from one shot into another, featuring BOB screaming and grunting as he kills Laura, whose face is interspersed in the pulsing light.

Laura's screaming and bloodied, pained expression makes this sequence. The final moments of the dream also show BOB howling into the sky with the guttural sound of something inhuman before cutting to the episode's credits. It's a truly spine-chilling endnote to an already eerie episode.

RELATED: Why ’Twin Peaks: The Return’ Part 8 Is Still One of the Scariest TV Episodes of All Time

BOB's Appears to Maddy ("Coma")

Maddy Ferguson, Laura Palmer's cousin, also portrayed by Sheryl Lee, arrived in Twin Peaks for her funeral and decided to stay and attempt to investigate Laura's death alongside Laura's lover James Hurley (James Marshall) and best friend Donna Hayward (Lara Flynn Boyle). Early on in the show's run, Maddy's aunt Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) had already mentioned having visions of a strange man at the end of Laura's bed. Maddy would witness this man soon enough, which would essentially mark her for death.

During a night at Donna's home, Donna, Maddy, and James performed a song, with James on guitar and Maddy and Donna singing in duet. After the song's conclusion, Maddy and James share an intimate glance, upsetting Donna, who had been dating James since Laura's passing. Donna darts from the room and James gives haste to console her. Maddy anxiously stares at a couch opposite her. From off-screen, BOB slowly walks into view and crawls over the couch and furniture. The scene breaks away only after BOB has gotten uncomfortably close to the camera's focus, implying that he was immediately in front of Maddy.

She screams out in terror and James and Donna return to console her, but BOB is nowhere to be found. The "BOB Crawl" as it has been coined by some is more discomforting than truly scary in the sense that one would be uncomfortable with a stranger so incredibly close to them, especially in the safety of their own home.

BOB/Leland's Assault on Laura (Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me)

Fire Walk With Me provides viewers with a more attuned look at Laura Palmer's final moments while also addressing certain story elements that take place after Season 2. This gives the film a hybrid nature of being both a prequel and a sequel and was all Twin Peaks fans had as a chronological endpoint for some time until Twin Peaks: The Return came about in the late 2010s. The film also has several of its own strange and disturbing scenes, and this one is likely the most horrific not only in Fire Walk With Me but in Twin Peaks in general.

After being hounded by BOB for some time, Laura spends a night in her room indulging in her cocaine habit. As she laid about in bed, a ceiling fan in the nearby hallway clicks on, and BOB comes through her window and proceeds to sexually assault her. She cries out and asks who her attacker is, and she, unfortunately, gets her wish. Laura watches as BOB's face twists into that of Leland Palmer (Ray Wise), indicating that BOB is possessing Laura's own father.

It's simply a gut-wrenching scene that starts off bad and then goes off the deep end. With Laura having already been through so much in Fire Walk With Me, this moment in Twin Peaks signifies the bottom falling out.

"Judy/The Experiment's" Emergence and Double Murder (The Return Parts 1-2)

There's a lot of confusing elements at the beginning of Twin Peaks: The Return. One of these early on in the first two episodes follows an unusual setup in New York City. Sam Colby (Benjamin Rosenfield) has been hired to observe a large and empty glass box surrounded by cameras. He is visited twice for deliveries by a girl named Tracey Barberato (Madeline Zima), bringing her into the room after the second delivery. After sipping their coffee for some time, things start to get hot and heavy and the two begin to have sex.

Soon after, a ghoulish creature shimmers and distorts within the glass box, never staying in place. The two sit in confusion as the creature continues to stagger about before slamming into the wall of the box, prompting a scream from Tracey. The creature then crashes through the glass and hacks the two into a bloody, mangled mess.

There is still some speculation as to what this creature is specifically. It is seen during The Return: Part 8 birthing BOB into the world after a nuclear test. Some have speculated that this creature is an iteration of "Judy" or "Jowday," a malicious force of evil that feasted on human suffering and who is seen as a central antagonist in The Return as well as being mentioned in Fire Walk With Me by Phillip Jeffries (David Bowie). Regardless of what the creature, also dubbed "The Experiment," really is. Its visage is eerie and its appearance is a great injection of traditional monster horror Twin Peaks.

How's Annie? ("Beyond Life and Death")

Though Twin Peaks has a large cast of curious and entertaining characters, the show's central characters really boil down to Agent Cooper and Laura Palmer. Throughout the series, Cooper's persistent optimism in the face of the unusual and disturbing makes him something of a paragon, an immovable center in the chaotic surroundings of the small Washington town. David Lynch likely accounted for this, and after Cooper escapes the dark confines of the Black Lodge, Lynch pulls the rug out from under viewers.

After his return into town from the Black Lodge, Coop is visibly shaken and silent due to his recent discoveries. As Cooper takes a trip to the bathroom, all hell breaks loose. Coop slams his head into the bathroom mirror, and with a bloodied visage, turns to the camera and asks "How's Annie?" before cackling, BOB's reflection still visible in the mirror, showing the audience that BOB has possessed a doppelganger of Cooper.

The scene is made more sinister on BOB's behalf due to his reference to "Annie" specifically. This character, portrayed by Heather Graham (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me), had begun a romantic relationship with Cooper over the course of Season 2. After a harrowing experience in the Black Lodge as a result of being kidnapped, she is found bloody and in shock wearing the same ring that Laura Palmer wore when she was killed. She was whisked away to the hospital in a catatonic state, and after an attempt to commit suicide, was institutionalized in the city of Spokane.

The fact that BOB seemingly used this to taunt the audience is incredibly cruel, especially from Cooper's own body. The biggest significance of this scene, however, is it was the last fans would see of Twin Peaks for 25 years with the exception of Fire Walk With Me releasing shortly thereafter. This dour note wasn't only disturbing, but it was the final scene in many viewers' heads during what they considered the end of the show, which carried its own fear of Twin Peaks' many plot threads remaining unresolved.

Gotta Light? (The Return: Part 8)

Considered by critics and fans alike as one of David Lynch's finest moments as a director, the eighth episode of The Return is a somber and relatively silent while depicting many surreal scenes shot in monochrome. Mark Frost remarks that he and Lynch wanted to examine the origin of the evil at the heart of the world of Twin Peaks, and the episode's reception shows that its abstract horror concepts hit the mark.

The episode's events are placed against the backdrop of the Trinity Nuclear Test, which historically was the first detonation of a nuclear device. The result of The Manhattan Project is on full display as the evils of Twin Peaks' world begin to manifest and take shape. The Experiment is seen giving birth to BOB, bearded woodsmen descend from the sky near the nuclear test site and begin a massacre, killing a young receptionist and crushing the skull of a radio DJ only after relaying an ominous message: "This is the water and this is the well. Drink full and descend. The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within." The message causes listeners to lose consciousness, including a young girl, who has a repulsive cockroach/toad hybrid crawl into her mouth while she is incapacitated.

There's simply too much to unpack and analyze for a summary, suffice to say the episode evokes a sense of dread and draws from multiple sources to do so. The Return is undoubtedly a much darker tone compared to the previous two seasons of Twin Peaks, and this episode is both incredibly unsettling while also explaining many huge questions about the nature of the forces of good and evil that are always in constant battle throughout the show's tenure.

Laura's Doppelganger in the Red Room ("Beyond Life and Death")

If anybody doesn't consider Sheryl Lee a Scream Queen, this scene should change their tune. Cooper finds himself in the Red Room from his dreams within the Black Lodge, and he has a conversation with Laura Palmer, who simply tells Coop "when you see me again, it won't be me" before saying she'll see him again in 25 years, making a gesture and remarking "meanwhile..."

As Coop attempts to leave the Black Lodge, he is surrounded by flames and is seemingly taunted by a man known as The Arm (Michael J. Anderson) as many of the rooms look alike and the lodge seems almost labyrinthine. Cooper returns to the room he spoke to Laura in, finding The Arm, his eyes glazed over white, who remarks "doppelganger." Coop looks over to Laura, her eyes also whited out, still in the pose from earlier. Laura, or what appears to be Laura, croaks out the word "meanwhile" before growling and climbing over the seating, charging at Cooper and letting out a bloodcurdling screech that continues even after Cooper runs out of the room.

It is abundantly clear that this creature, this doppelganger, is not Laura, but it is familiar enough with her and her demise to release a tremendous amount of anguish and anger all at once. Though much of this may be directed at Cooper, Laura's doppelganger is also geared towards the audience in this iconic and terrifying scene. The strobing coloration of lights alternate between illuminating the doppelganger and utter darkness, not unlike Ronette's dream of BOB killing Laura early in Season 2. The fact that this creature continues to screech in an outpour of anger and dread after the protagonist has fled is undoubtedly meant to leave an impression on watchers, and it is often referenced as the scariest moment (outside of The Return) in all of Twin Peaks.

KEEP READING: The Scariest TV Episodes Ever

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