Donnie Darko (Movie)

13 Dec


Fields, Adam. (Producer). Kelly, Richard. (Director). (2001). Donnie Darko [DVD]. Flower Films. 113 min.

Plot Summary:

Donnie Darko is seeing a psychiatrist for his troubled past. On October 2 he is drawn out of his room in the middle of the night by a six-foot tall, menacing-looking, time traveling bunny named Frank who tells Donnie that in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds the world is going to come to an end. He then wakes up on a golf course and heads home to find police and firemen at his home. A plane engine fell through his house and landed in his room. Nobody knows where the engine came from because there were no reported planes flying over that area. The next day at school Donnie meets a new student, Gretchen Ross, who becomes Donnie’s new love interest. His father takes him to see his psychiatrist and is given more medication, but Frank continues to appear and manipulates Donnie into committing a series of crimes. Frank also tells Donnie about time travel and how to manipulate it. On October 30, Donnie and his sister throw a Halloween party, but Donnie realizes his 28 days are up, and he only has a few hours to do before the world comes to and end.

Critical Evaluation:

This film is filled with dire circumstances and psychological content. Donnie’s character is able to see things that other people cannot, such as a six-foot tall, menacing looking, time traveling bunny named Frank. The atmosphere of the film is menacing, eerie, and dreamy all at the same time. The music adds just the touch mystery and spooky it needs to create the perfect ambiance for this film. All of the characters have a little bit of strangeness to them that leaves the viewer pondering their nature and how they fit in with Donnie and his mental state. Given that Donnie was seeing a psychiatrist for his troubled past, it is possible that the things he is seeing are imaginary. There is no six-foot, time traveling bunny and there are no swirling time vortexes that Donnie can somehow manipulate. He had some serious mental issue that could explain away his entire experience for the last 28 days. Although, I can’t say for certain, this is just an idea I had. Either way, this is a thrilling film.

Reader’s Annotation:

Donnie sees a six-foot tall, menacing, demonic-looking, time-traveling rabbit named Frank who tells him in 28 day, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds the world is coming to an end.


James Richard Kelly was born in Newport News, Virginia. His mother is Lane Kelly and his father is Ennis Kelly. He grew up in Midlothian, Virginia where he went to Midlothian High School and graduated in 1993. When he was a child, his father worked for NASAon the Mars Viking Lander program. He won a scholarship to the University of Southern California to study at the USC School of Cinema for Television and he was a member of the Phi Delta Thetafraternity. Before graduating from USC in 1997, he made two short films, The Goodbye Place and Visceral Matter.

Donnie Darko was only given a budget of $4.5 million. This was his first feature and was nominated for 21 small awards, winning 11 of them, including a nomination for a Saturn Award. His second feature release November 16, 2007 called Southlland Tales. In 2008, his production company Darko Entertainment announced that it was producing the adaptation of the bestselling book I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. In 2011, he announced that he was writing and directing Corpus Christi.


Thriller – Psychological

Curriculum Ties:


Booktalking Ideas:

Donnie Darko meets Franks.

Interest Level:


Challenge Issues:


Why I included this movie:

I loved this film when I was in high school, it quickly become one of my favorites. I highly recommend it to other young adults.

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Posted by on December 13, 2011 in LIBR 265-10 Database Project/Blog


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