[The Super Five] 5 Haunting Female Characters From The World Of David Lynch
Welcome to a brand new weekly feature here at HouseOfGeekery called ‘The Super Five’. This is a different take on the ‘Top 10’ or ‘List’ style features, where I take a subject and simply name five things. It isn’t a top list, just simply five things for your enjoyment! Enjoy the debut column!
David Lynch is without a doubt my favourite director of all time, there is just something about the man and his works that hit on a level like no other. I always go back and explore his films, the strange worlds he creates and the incredibly messed up characters. Perhaps the most memorable of those characters are the females, all as different as the next, with such haunting qualities about them. So for this week I thought I would delve right into that world …
5.) Renee Madison/Alice Wakefield (Patricia Arquette) Lost Highway (1997)
Lost Highway is an odd film, yes that isn’t saying much coming from Lynch. This feels darker than some of his others, and certainly not an easy one to sit through. Perhaps the most haunting thing about this film is the dual role from Patricia Arquette as Renee and Alice. This might just be her best performance, and without it the film wouldn’t be the same.
4.) Nikki Grace/Susan Blue (Laura Dern) Inland Empire (2006)
Another dual role, from Lynch’s muse Laura Dern. This could be her crowning achievement, as the struggling older actress and the character she is meant to be playing. The lines between reality and fantasy are blurred in this nightmarish world. This film stuck with me for a long time after I saw it, mostly thanks to this performance and the characters she played.
3.) Betty Elms/Diane Selwyn (Naomi Watts) Mulholland Dr. (2001)
The duality of this role doesn’t come into play well over half way through, and for a lot of the film we’re with Betty. She’s this innocent and gorgeous creature, but then she turns into something completely different. This is the role that really put Naomi Watts on the Hollywood map, with two characters that are incredibly heartbreaking and haunting.
2.) Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) Twin Peaks (1990), Fire Walk With Me (1992)
“She’s dead, wrapped in plastic.” it was these haunting words that began one of the strangest TV series of the past 40 years. Laura Palmer was at the center of it all, who was she and why would someone kill such a beautiful creature? The mystery kept audiences guessing, and when the show came to an abrupt end, her story was told in the prequel film and her full tragedy and heartache was revealed.
1.) Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini) Blue Velvet (1986)
For those that know me, this one will come as no surprise. Blue Velvet is in my Top 5 Favourite Films of All Time list, and Dorothy Vallens certainly remains one of the most memorable characters to appear on film (next to Dennis Hopper’s Frank Booth). Her character is a mystery, a beauty, full of heartbreak and tragedy. She’s a tortured soul, with something about her that just attracts people towards her, she’s the ultimate haunting Lynch female character.
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I’ve actually been re watching Twin Peaks lately and getting reacquainted with some of Lynch’s best work.