Ben Oliver

Banner image for Eraserhead


Are you Henry?
29 October 2016

David Lynch started his career as he meant to continue, with this disturbing surrealist tale of a man who discovers he is to be the father of a grossly disfigured child. As he and his new wife care for it, they slowly descend into madness.

Eraserhead quickly sucks the viewer into its drab industrial dystopia with some of the most ominous, chilling sound design work ever put to film. A low hum throbs through the whole picture, it’s uneasy and relentless. Putting so much work into the soundtrack was a clever move, it helps create a world outside without having to build expensive sets and hire lots of actors, while still being incredibly effective.

Although the film was made on a shoestring, it never feels cheap. Lynch borrows heavily from film noir and builds on it, taking the genre in a new direction.

Almost 40 years since its release, Eraserhead is as bold, innovative and downright unsettling as it ever was.