Sunday, October 19, 2008

Donnie Darko

(2001) ****
It is 1988. Donnie Darko is a suburban high school student with a history of troubled behavior and a current tendency toward hallucinations and sleepwalking. One of his recurring hallucinations involves a man-sized, frightening-looking rabbit named Frank who sometimes tells Donnie to commit acts of vandalism and also informs Donnie the world is going to end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds. As the days pass, Donnie tries to figure out how to prevent the end of the world, becoming obsessed with the concept of time travel as a possible solution.
Now that I've seen DD, I'm not sure why it is on Fearnet: it doesn't seem to be a horror movie at all, more of a suspenseful psychological dark comedy. I'm glad I watched it all the same. This is a movie in which the ending encourages one to rethink what has come before, and/or see the movie all over again. The acting was good, the plot quirky and unique, the soundtrack great. I found myself interested in, and caring about, the characters, and enjoyed trying to figure out to what extent Donnie's psychiatric status accounts for his experiences (I haven't figured that one out yet). To my mind, DD is a not a horror movie, but does deserve its "cult classic" status, and I am very interested to hear what others think of this movie.


Catfreeek said...

I loved Donnie Darko although I wouldn't class it as a horror either It is pretty strange though and I really enjoyed your review.

DCD said...

Very good review! I have not seen the movie although I have heard about it. Will put it on the loooooonnnnggggg list of movies I have to see. *sigh*

Whirlygirl said...

I didn't like Donnie Darko, but it really sounds like my kind of film. It was years ago and my taste has changed. I bet I'd like it now.

Octopunk said...

Donnie Darko has some scary elements, but really it's a very clever science fiction story. There's a version of the movie (director's cut?) with a ton more explanation added, by way of blurbs from a book written by one of the characters dropped in.

It's interesting stuff to know, but I recommend seeing the original version first. It's more fun to embrace the mystery, I think, and the director's cut drops an explanatory note right in the middle of the movie's most poignant scene, busting up the rhythm.

Said moment having an excellent, excellent cover of Tears for Fears's Mad World in it.

nowandzen said...

I'm not into slasher horror but love suspenseful movies like this. Any great cult movie in this genre has an atmosphere so thick you can almost cast it in the credits and this one does in spades. I loved it.