Donnie Darko is a science fiction meets psychological thriller meets coming of age film. Set in October 1988, Donnie Darko is a teenager who has narrowly avoided a bizarre accident. He is convinced to begin committing a series of crimes by a mysterious rabbit-like figure who informs him that the world will end in just over 28 days.
The film was released in October of 2001. Trailers featured a teenager firing a gun as well as a plane crashing, and due to recent events at the time, the film was subject to and suffered from little advertising. Given the subject matter and distribution troubles, Donnie Darko grossed just over $500,000 during its initial run, although it received high praise from critics. After reissues and a positive home media release, the film grossed over $7 million more, and developed a devoted fan base and cult following.
I am a fan of Jake Gyllenhaal’s work, so I was excited for the chance to see him in one of his breakout roles. I have heard that the film is a little confusing and simply weird, but I am always interested to see how these kinds of films remain unpopular with mainstream audiences but become cult classics.
Donnie Darko will be re-released on Friday, October 8 at 10pm at the Michigan Theater.