HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen
Porky’s II: The Next Day
It Happened Here
Giant from the Unknown
211
Top of the Bill
Set It Off
No Way Out
Traffik
Pitch Perfect 3
Insidious: The Last Key
Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, The
Dirty Carnival, A
King of Hearts
Crowhurst
And the Same to You
Racer and the Jailbird
Superman and the Mole-Men
Phantom Thread
Sweet Country
Loophole
Irma La Douce
Brigsby Bear
Wish Upon
Gringo
Finding Vivian Maier
Shape of Water, The
Lady Bird
Endless, The
Universal Soldier: The Return
   
 
Newest Articles
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
   
 
  Donnie Darko Out Of TimeBuy this film here.
Year: 2001
Director: Richard Kelly
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Drew Barrymore, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne, Katharine Ross, Patrick Swayze, Noah Wyle, Beth Grant, James Duval, Maggie Gyllenhaal
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction, Weirdo
Rating:  8 (from 12 votes)
Review: It's October 1988 and Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a troubled teen on medication who sleepwalks right out of his house on some nights. He also suffers from visions of a man in a grotesque rabbit costume, a harbinger of doom who tells him that the world will end in twenty-eight days...

This weird, jigsaw-with-pieces-missing science fiction was the debut of writer/director Richard Kelly. It contorts the template of the typical teen movie into an unsettling enigma; the usual characters are there: the outsider (the well-cast Gyllenhaal), the new girl who he connects with (Jena Malone), the juvenile delinquents, the bullied fat girl, the understanding teacher, the sympathetic but distant parents.

Yet teen alienation is taken so far that we feel no empathy with any of them, only Donnie seems to be on the road to discovery, despite the efforts of the school and their banal self-motivation classes (inspired by the local inspirational speaker played by Patrick Swayze). There is something not right with the world of Donnie Darko, it appears to be a typical American small town but it feels off kilter, and there's tragedy hanging over the place.

Teachers are afraid to hold challenging discussions with their pupils for fear of being sacked, an aeroplane engine falls out of the sky into the absent Donnie's bedroom, and a session of hypnosis with a psychiatrist (Katharine Ross) abruptly ends with Donnie's sexual fantasies taking over. And that's before we consider what is happening with time itself.

Are we predestined to take a set route through life? Is that route dictated by a God? How is it possible to travel through time, anyway? Can we even change time itself? The film offers no obvious answers, and moves slowly to its mysterious conclusion. It's haunting, intriguing and carefully made, but there's a nagging doubt that to work it all out may require more effort than it actually deserves. Moody music by Michael Andrews, along with an amusing use of eighties hits on the soundtrack.

In 2004, Kelly released a Special Director's Cut of the film with scenes and various effects added to make the storyline more obvious, apparently not realising that the very enigma of the film was one of its strengths. While he didn't spell everything out (not quite, anyway), by making Donnie a more overt superhero character (a passing comment in the original cut) he makes the ending even more like the finale of the first Christopher Reeve Superman film, and the overall effect was oddly diminished. Most unforgivably, he changed the music for the opening: INXS just wasn't the same somehow, which could similarly be said of the Director's Cut. The first cut is the deepest.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 12851 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Richard Kelly  (1975 - )

American writer/director whose first film, skewed end-of-the-world sci-fi thriller Donnie Darko, was a big cult hit. He followed it up with the script for Domino, then a disastrous science fiction epic Southland Tales which chased away his blossoming acclaim. The Box saw him continue to be enigmatic, but without much of the approval Donnie Darko had won him.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
George White
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
   

 

Last Updated: