After surviving an accident, a troubled teen has hallucinations
of a man in a rabbit suit who pressures him into committing crimes.
Donnie Darko (2001)
Written and Directed by Richard Kelly
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone,
Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne, James Duval, Patrick Swayze
Donnie Darko almost went straight to video back in 2001 because it features a plane crash in the trailer and its theatrical release was set for October 2001, just a month after the tragic events on 9/11. The film wasn’t advertised because of that reason and they tried to move the date, but they were stuck with the original October release date. Donnie Darko quickly became a cult classic after its DVD release and is still talked about all the time. Writer/director Richard Kelly gave us a one of a kind story and gave Jake Gyllenhaal the role that would change his career forever.
Donnie Darko (Jake) lives in Middlesex, Virginia with his parents and two sisters. The older one is played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, which clearly creates a chemistry that is timeless. Donnie consistently has these visions of a figure in a giant rabbit suit named Frank (Duval) that tells him about how the world is going to end in a month. Frank influences Donnie to commit crimes while the visions are happening, but then the world is ending simultaneously. You really have to see it to understand it.
Donnie Darko deals with time travel, identity, and so many philosophical questions that it might not be your cup of tea but Jake’s performance makes it worth it. I personally find it to be extremely entertaining and endlessly rewatchable, due to the new things you’ll catch each viewing. The needle drops are on a different fucking level and it could never be overstated how great Jake is as hero of the misfits, Donnie Darko.