Live-action Short Film "Bright Falls," captures the small town eeriness of Twin Peaks, but lacks the quirky charm and depth of filmmaker David Lynch.
A friend recently introduced me to Bright Falls, a live-action episodic series released on Xbox LIVE, as a prequel film to the upcoming videogame Alan Wake, prior to the game's actual release. Described as "A Psychological Action Thriller", wrapped up in the survival horror genre, the videogame developed by Remedy Entertainment, doesn't shy away from blatant stylistic appreciation for 90's cult television favorite, Twin Peaks -- a style immediately recognizable as that of David Lynch (Lynchian), which is further exploited in the film, Bright Falls.
If you didn't know better, you'd would probably think this was a Twin Peaks fan film, or even an official spin-off of the series. It's THAT similar.
Filmed with the high-end RED One digital video camera, and directed by Philip Van, I was immediately impressed with the production values and engaging short form storytelling put into this film. With a total of 6 episodes, the film establishes the setting of the game, with some of the citizens of Bright Falls, characters which will no doubt appear in the videogame sequel.
The film has some sharp editing, and sound design, with enough to keep the viewer interested, though the director's choice in shots felt somewhat pedestrian at times, while a few of the lighting setups, and green screen comps, didn't blend so well together in certain scenes. (Perhaps due to production limits in post production.) The footage from the RED One camera though, is exceptional, and a good example of it's ability and range, that would make any indie filmmaker drool.
It is a very nice attempt at broadening the appeal and interest of the game, through the medium of film. Having built up the hype around Alan Wake, I can only go in expecting to be engaged by the mystery, and atmosphere lifted straight from a David Lynch production.
Though, the filmmakers of Bright Falls may have been superficial in their cherry picking of Lynch's style, it's a good effort that's worth a viewing for all fans of horror, and mystery.
Looking forward to Alan Wake.
Alan Wake hits NA shelves May 18, 2010.
Watch and learn more about Bright Falls: