Underrated Hallowe’en Movie: Donnie Darko

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Jake Gyllenhaal & Jena Malone in Donnie Darko(2001) Photo Credit: RTE.ie 

Time travel, a demonic life-sized rabbit, the world will end in 28 days and a huge jet engine plummeting into your bedroom.

Donnie Darko was released 2 months after 9/11 and debut writer/Directer Richard Kelly barely made $500,000 in the box office. A year later, a New York cinema ‘Pioneer Theatre’ started screening the film and so was reborn a sci-fi psychological thriller cult classic of the early 2000s.

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Photo Credit: Wikipedia 

The film begins with misfit and troubled teenager, Donnie Darko, sleepwalking outside. He meets a terrifying man dressed as a rabbit who tells him that the world will end in 28 days.

The next morning Donnie wakes up on a golf course and returns home to see that a giant jet engine has fallen into his room but the investigators don’t know which plane it belongs to.

Donnie tells his psychiatrist about his visions of this human-like rabbit that she puts down to paranoid schizophrenia. Donnie becomes curious about time-travel after reading a book written by the towns former ‘crazy’ science teacher and meets Gretchen Ross, whom he develops a romantic relationship with.

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Jake Gyllenhaal & Drew Barrymore Photo Credit: The Irish Times 

Leading up to the supposed ending of the world Donnie continues to see ‘Frank’ the rabbit, starts studying time-travel intently and experiences more unexplained happenings…

The cast performance is excellent. Drew Barrymore especially. She played Donnie’s likeable and grounded English teacher so convincingly. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays her brothers on-screen sister with natural chemistry that translated well on film.

Interestingly, the buzz about this cult classic is in the fan theories of what really happened. Some theories claim that every event was a figment of Donnie’s mental instability and hallucinations.

Other theories claim that everything was real… You’ll have to watch to decide for yourself…

 

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