Donnie Darko is a cult classic made by director and writer Richard Kelly (The Box, Domino). The film explores time travel, schizophrenia, and the supernatural. While this movie isn’t and shouldn’t be classified as a horror movie, it does explore the peculiar with the help of Frank, a futuristic 6 ft. tall rabbit who tells Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) about the coming apocalypse.
Donnie is our main character, a teenager who has schizophrenia and an active social life. During the night, he is lured from his room and to the golf course across the street. When he gets there he is greeted by Frank, who tells him about the apocalypse. Stating there is only 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds.
Throughout the movie Donnie tries to find significance and meaning in life. He frequently visits his psychotherapist who delves deeper into his subconscious, leading to the idea of time travel and how the world is made of small mistakes. While under hypnosis, Donnie exudes a childlike innocence leading to deeper meaning behind his actions. As Donnie starts to struggle with Frank, Frank begins to control Donnie’s life leading to Donnie making decisions that he is unaware of.
The meaning behind this movie is too complex to go into without spoiling it, but Richard Kelly shows another perspective on life’s meaning and fate throughout the movie introducing the viewer into the idea that life is set out and nothing can be changed. While summarizing Donnie Darko is nearly impossible without ruining the experience, those looking for a deep, unpretentious film about teenage angst will certainly not be disappointed.