Dissecting Bright Falls, The Live Action Prequel To Alan Wake

Though you can’t play Alan Wake until May 18th, those of you who are itching to engross yourself in its world should definitely watch the live-action prequel, Bright Falls. You can watch the entire six-part series over at YouTube.

The rest of this post assumes that you have watched the entirety of the series…and if you have, make sure to also watch What The Bright Falls, too. Here, the folks over at Machinima dissect confusing moments and showcase freeze-frames that you probably missed. Otherwise, reader beware: the rest of the post will contains spoilers and conjectures!

The series follows a “reporter” called Jake who comes into Bright Falls to write an article on the author of “The Creator’s Dilemma,” Emil Hartman. Why quotation marks on reporter? Well, when Jake actually sits down to talk to Emil, Emil mentions something along the lines of frequently dealing with people who live in fabricated worlds. If you pay attention during the first episode, we notice that Jake has run out of pills. We don’t actually know what the pills are for, but we do know that after hitting that deer, Jake has frequent blackouts. Something is clearly not right with Jake. Of course, by the end we know that he has been affected by the dark presence which we can assume to be the same one Alan Wake will soon have to contend with. Knowing this, we can probably contest whether or not Jake actually is who he think he is. After all, we also know that he was the body that was pulled out of the lake at the very beginning of the series, and after this brief scene, we suddenly see Jake driving into Bright Falls. We also see that he cannot physically leave Bright Falls–and if indeed he is the dead body in the bag at the beginning of the first episode, then he cannot leave Bright Falls even after death.

If you head over to Brightfalls.com and look at a close-up of the book by Emil, it states two interesting things:

1) “A comprehensive insight to unearthing the mysteries of creation and creativity,” and

2)Hartman has written books which “awaken the true potential of artists. Hartman has helped hundreds at his Cauldron Lake Lodge and now shares these techniques with you”

Moreover, if you take a look at the brochure for the Doctor’s services, it has a line that states that he intends to help them ‘harness the power of your creativity’. Malignant power, perhaps?

Both Jake and Alan are writers, both are having trouble with their wives…and both are involved or come into contact with the dark presence which has suddenly taken over Bright Falls. Both Jake, and later Alan come to Bright Falls with the intent of clearing their heads. Could this mean that Emil is involved with the terrifying events? He seems to be a common thread. Between the comment made to Jake regarding people who are stuck in their own little worlds, the text on the book and the pamphlets, and Jake’s own crazy writing which had lines such as ‘He knows’ (in regards to Emil), I’m going to bet that Emil is either involved somehow, or has some sort of idea of whats going on. He doesn’t even seem to be phased when Jake is clearly blacking out and not looking at him during the interview–in fact, during the scene where we see Jake telling Emil about the blackouts, Emil doesn’t think anything of it. He just casually states that he helps people, as if this sort of thing is common.

Then again, everyone seems to carry this sort of air–the man at the hotel doesn’t think anything of the broken lights, his ex just tells him that staying at Bright Falls ‘gets to you’ or gets into your head. These people must know something strange is going on.So what could that thing be? Everything seems to revolve around Deerfest, or even just Deers in general. Who knows?

Things don’t seem to start breaking down in Bright Falls until we see Alan Wake flipping out in the newscast at the paparazzi. Is the town tied to Alan somehow–perhaps reflective of his own state of being?

All these questions will probably be answered May 18th!