The Horror and the Voyeur: David Lynch’s "The Elephant Man" and "Inland Empire"

David Lynch's The Elephant Man (1980) and Inland Empire (2006) are showing July and August on Mubi in the United Kingdom.“I am convinced we are all voyeurs. It’s part of the detective thing. We want to know secrets and we want to know what goes on behind those windows.” —David Lynch, interviewed by Newsday, March 9, 1997Whether or not you feel comfortable attaching the word horror to the universe of David Lynch depends on your receptiveness to the sort of terror that springs from the uncanny, from the moment familiar objects and situations take on the sinister glow of foreign, threatening things. To defend Lynch’s horror credentials is to embark in an act of taxonomical defence. For a genre that’s often seen to meddle with and grow alongside the thriller, Lynch’s version further obfuscates the distinction, conjuring up a hybrid that sits in between the two. Horror,
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