Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Expansion, Excess and the Uncanny: Deadly Premonition and Twin Peaks

Version 1 : Received: 29 June 2018 / Approved: 29 June 2018 / Online: 29 June 2018 (15:33:39 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Novitz, J. Expansion, Excess and the Uncanny: Deadly Premonition and Twin Peaks. Arts 2018, 7, 49. Novitz, J. Expansion, Excess and the Uncanny: Deadly Premonition and Twin Peaks. Arts 2018, 7, 49.


The influence of the cult television series Twin Peaks (1990-91) can be detected in a wide range of videogames, from adventure, to roleplaying to survival horror titles. While many games variously draw upon the narrative, setting and imagery of the series for inspiration, certain element of the distinctive uncanniness of Twin Peaks are difficult to translate into gameplay, particularly its ability consistently disrupt the expectations and emotional responses of its audience. This paper examines the ways in which the 2010 survival horror title Deadly Premonition attempts to replicate the uncanniness of Twin Peaks in both its narrative and gameplay, noting how it expands upon conceptualisations of the gamerly uncanny (Hoeger and Huber 2007). It contends that Deadly Premonition's awkward and uncanny recombination of seemingly inconsistent and excessive gameplay features mirrors the ways in which David Lynch and Mark Frost draw upon and subvert audience expectations for police procedurals and soap operas in the original Twin Peaks, while also providing a similarly disorienting excess of “realistic” detail. Furthermore its exploration of the theme of possession – a central element of the television series – offers a diegetic exploration of the uncanny relationship between the player and their onscreen avatar.


The Uncanny, Deadly Premonition, Twin Peaks, Survival Horror


Arts and Humanities, Humanities

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