Donnie Darko

Genre: Sci-fi/Mystery

Director: Richard Kelly

Screenplay: Richard Kelly

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Drew Berrymore, Noah Wylie, and Patrick Swayze

Donnie has always been a troubled individual, but one night a mysterious being tells him that world will end and is given the exact date and time. Ironically, because he was with this mysterious being, he was saved from jet engine falling into his room. Both odd occurrences intrigue him rather than disturb him. The only normalcy he seems to experience is a budding romance with the new girl in school. The mysterious being continues to pop up randomly and tell him facts and instructions, but where exactly is it all leading towards and how is everything connected?

Okay, this film is not obviously an automatic choice for Halloween. I chose it because it is weird, has a Halloween party, and is one of the best films I have ever seen. It is an amazing story that applies the best use of foreshadowing I’ve ever seen in a movie. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen this film, but every time I do, I find a new clue that leads to the conclusion. Not to mention, it also has one of the most amazing film montages. There is a bonus perk for me that this film takes place in the Eighties. That being said, the soundtrack is phenomenal because of that fact, but sadly no true soundtrack was ever released. The only one out there is made up of mostly score and of course the wonderful remake of the Tears for Fears song, “Mad World.” If this film was never made, then that version of the song probably would never have been existed. That’s sad enough on its own.

I would normally talk about the acting in this film, but as great as it was, no one really stands out in this film. The actors are all on equal ground with their characters, yet another reason why this film was so good. That being said, I do believe that this was the film that really set Jake Gyllenhaal’s career going. We were all introduced to his fantastic acting ability in October Sky, so his skill in this film was of no surprise.

There is just a beautiful harmony about this film, which is a rare feat for a movie to accomplish. I admit that the film may not be for you if you not into science-fiction. The shortest and loosest description of what this film is about is time travel. That may be a little hard to swallow at times. This is also the type of film that you have to pay attention to. If you can’t commit that to it, then you will not get any enjoyment out of it. Because of these elements, it was no surprise that this became a cult hit, and shocking that it did not originally go to the theaters first. I will contest that I have only seen the original. I have been told iffy things about the director’s cut and especially the sequel. I will eventually give both a chance.

NOTE: One final thing. DO NOT READ the back cover of the movie jacket. The fact that someone was actually commissioned to write that film synopsis is appalling. The back leads you to believe that you’re in for some crappy horror movie, and is in no way a proper representation of the movie. Please do not let that back sway you from taking a chance on this film.

I give this film 5 Buttery Kernals.

Coming Soon: Buffy the Vampire Slayer