The 5 Must-See David Lynch Movies If You Like ‘Twin Peaks’

Director David Lynch.
Cristiano Siqueira

The “Twin Peaks” reboot on Showtime has brought a whole new audience of viewers into the world of David Lynch. Whether you are new to the work of Lynch, or a long time fan since the beginning, here’s a rundown of some of the other must-see works of David Lynch.

David Lynch is one of the greatest American directors. He’s actually a Jack-of-all-trades or even a Renaissance Man who lends his creative talents to directing, screenwriting, painting, acting, painting, photography, and even making music. No matter your taste preference for his work, it cannot be denied that his artistry has left an indelible mark on modern American cinema (and the small screen as well).

Lynch’s “Twin Peaks: the Return” (created in conjunction with Mark Frost) has introduced his work to a new generation as well as reinvigorated those already familiar with his work. We take a look at some of Lynch’s best films, so you know what to watch next.

5 Must See David Lynch Films

1. “Blue Velvet” (1986)

This film is one part noir, one part horror, and if you appreciate the creeper aspects of “Twin Peaks,” then this one might be right up your alley. Kyle Maclachlan makes his debut in this film–and not as Agent Dale Cooper (or alternative Agent Cooper), but as a young man who becomes infatuated with a beautiful lounge singer (played by Isabella Rossellini) and gets mixed up in some very bad business at the hands of a creepy gangster played by Dennis Hopper.

2. “Mulholland Drive” (2001)

Naomi Watts, another regular Lynch collaborator, makes her Lynchian debut in what may be Lynch’s most critically-acclaimed film. Mulholland is another neo-noir film with a mystery of sorts at its center that involves Watts and a mysterious woman who survives a car crash on Mulholland Drive. The narrative isn’t linear so it can be quite disconcerting, but in a good way.

3. “Dune” (1984)

While not a success at the box office, or with the critics at the time, Lynch’s take on the Frank Herbert sci-fi novel by the same name, “Dune” is still worth seeing. The film features Lynch mainstay Kyle Maclachlan as well as ex-Police frontman, Sting. The special effects are certainly dated and somewhat cheesy when looking back at the film today, but it’s a thrilling story and seeing Kyle Maclachlan riding a giant sand worm is something to behold.

4. “Wild at Heart” (1990)

“Wild at Heart”, which came out after just after the original “Twin Peaks” series ended can boast about having maybe the most actors from Twin Peaks as part of its cast. Laura Dern, Harry Dean Stanton, Sherilyn Fenn, Sheryl Lee are all “Twin Peaks” actors (including the original and the return) and act alongside Nicholas Cage, Isabella Rossellini, and others. The story is of young love on the run and while the reviews were a mixed bag of both good and bad, it’s worth a trip back to 1990.

5. “Eraserhead” (1977)

The one that started it all was “Eraserhead”–Lynch’s first feature film. And from the Lynchian cannon it is probably the most surreal–even considering some of the strong surrealism from the series “Twin Peaks: the Return.” The film stars a much younger Jack Nance and Charlotte Stewart, who respectively played Pete Martell and Betty Briggs (the wife of Major Briggs) in the original “Twin Peaks.” Shot in black and white, it’s a surreal horror film that plays with themes of darkness, industrial bleakness, and generally leaves one with a disturbing feeling. While it’s not the easiest film to watch, it’s important  in the pursuit of understanding the creative world of David Lynch.

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Jen Wallace

Jen Wallace shares her indie life by writing about making, creating, cooking, learning, playing, decorating, and pretty much anything else that strikes her fancy from indie biz tips to the modern history of the American hemline.