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Twin Peaks is a 90’s cult classic film that revolutionized the horror genre and redefined the usage of supernatural elements to create a unique and refreshing story. It’s the kind of series you can’t easily describe due to its complex portrayal of reality merged with the supernatural. Despite its complexity, it’s a series that stays with you long after you’ve finished it. It haunts you with each episode and leaves you ruminating about the intricacies of the human condition. This is how Twin Peaks changed the Supernatural genre. 

  1. Its representation of true horror 

In our modern society, we’ve been plagued with an abundance of films that claim themselves to belong to the horror genre, only to disappoint its audience with a mediocre storyline peppered with cheap elements created for thrills and chills. These films cannot get past the demonic plotline, as if horror could only be obtained by demons and depictions of hell. To make matters worse, they rely solely on jumpscares to startle their audiences. This cheap gimmick demonstrates they don’t have the ability to truly scare their audiences, but also that they underestimate horror fanatics. Twin Peaks is the complete opposite. The horror represented in this series is unlike any other I’ve ever seen. It’s the kind of horror that leaves a sinking feeling in your stomach, a bad taste in your mouth, a dark feeling in your chest, and vibrations all over your body that jolt you alive. It’s a horror that makes you cry from fear… at least, it made me cry. 

The series doesn’t rely on cheap gimmicks to scare its audience; rather, it plays with themes of surrealism, supernatural elements, and the strangeness of the human condition to look into your soul and absolutely destroy it. Its surrealistic aspect is portrayed through strange and ominous dreams that serve as possible premonitions of a reality that might be the one they’re living in, or even one from another world. Its supernatural elements are littered throughout the whole series, overlapping the corruption in humans and the darkness of the unknown (otherworldly creatures, souls, possessions). The strangeness of the human condition is within every character of the series, but you get to see how that strangeness attracts darkness and evil as well.  

  1. Its mixing of genres 

Before Twin Peaks, TV series were boxed into specific categories that limited them from being anything more than what the network dictated. A series was either a Mystery, a Soap Opera, a Sitcom, a Thriller, and so forth with little to no space for integrating elements of another genre. Twin Peaks broke the barriers by being a nighttime soap opera, a detective procedural, an absurdist comedy, and a supernatural horror all at once. It proved that, to tell a compelling story, you need to mix different genres to overall paint a fair portrait of humanity. People aren’t just serious or funny, scared or in harmony, they go through different emotions and experience various situations that define their state of mind. Who would’ve thought that a supernatural horror could also be an absurdist comedy? 

  1. Its portrayal of an eerie small town    

You’re probably familiar with mystery/thriller series that are set in small towns with secrets bigger than the town itself, complete with citizens you can’t trust. This aspect has become canon in many mysteries and thrillers, especially those who surround a supernatural setting. You either love these fictional small towns if they’re compelling enough or hate them if they lack creativity. Well, Twin Peaks is the series that created the concept of an eerie small town and popularized the portrayal of all its citizens. Every series you’ve ever watched that centered around a creepy small town gathered its inspiration from Twin Peaks. This small town is anything but normal. You can even say it’s haunted, but not in the ghostly way you may think. Strange citizens are faced with bizarre, supernatural experiences that, somehow, have become normal for them. It’s something like, “Oh, this is why this town is so strange”, and they continue to live their lives amidst the town’s strangeness as if it’s something natural, something they themselves were borned with. If you’re interested to witness the series that made eeries small towns happen, you should definitely dive into this twisty show. 

  1. Its plot is so much more than a murder mystery    

Twin Peaks is so much more than its murder mystery plotline, which is more to say than a lot of modern shows that solely focus on its whodunnit part. The series starts with the finding of Laura Palmer’s murdered body, an event that shakes and transforms its small town. However, the series doesn’t just focus on that. It integrates different storylines from various characters, makes room for supernatural elements and surrealist experiences, and makes its small town an active character. In order to have a compelling and successful supernatural horror and murder mystery, there needs to be a three-dimensional exploration of the characters, a well described and defined setting, an overall feeling that describes the essence of the work, and a riveting story. It’s not just about murder, the mystery around it, or the elements the film staff used for frightening effects. It’s also about all the pieces that form the bigger picture; everything in the story that connects and interconnects to breathe life into fiction. Twin Peaks does exactly that. 

Less is better than more when describing a series like Twin Peaks. It’s better if you dive into this eerie, multi genre series without knowing much about it. This is only if you’re up for the challenge. Twin Peaks has a life of its ownーit’s raw, viscous, dark, and extremely strange. Don’t expect to know or understand what you’re seeing from the start. Just enjoy the twisty and horrifying ride. You’ll finally experience what true horror is and how the supernatural genre is so much more than what you’ve seen. Enjoy!     

Abigail Figueroa Boneta is a fifth-year undergraduate student majoring in English Literature and Modern Languages with emphasis on French and Francophone studies. Currently, Boneta is a Writer and Junior Editor for Her Campus at UPR. She writes feminist articles about female empowerment, femininity, female sexuality, and female beauty. Within her articles, she also tackles contemporary social problems and writes book reviews. As a passionate and ambitious woman, she aspires to be a professional writer, editor, and translator after graduating. Her dream is to write and publish novels about Latino/a characters in genres like Mystery, Psychological Thriller, and Contemporary Young Adult.
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