Saturday, October 30, 2010

31 Days of Halloween: Donnie Darko

Wilde.Dash knows lots of embarrassing things about me, including my phobias of both harmless garden animals and the apocalypse. Combine the two, and you get Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko, a film that everyone sees in high school, favorites, and then abandons by college when they discover Lynch and Bergman and push such childish fluff aside. But Darko is an excellent and elegant film, terrifying and beautiful as it expertly exposes our worst fears about the mysteries of the universe and the mind, and pulls those insecurities out of the viewer. After watching (and hearing *shudder*) Frank give the countdown, after watching the visible connections between people that Donnie discovers, it's tough not to ruminate on how small your life is, how at any moment it could end, no matter how much you pray it doesn't. It's unsettling because the emotions are true, plucked right from your most primal of fears, even if the actions on screen seem utterly ridiculous. We're all going to die, we're all going to lose what we love, and no matter how hard we try to repress it, we feel the nostalgic sadness that comes with that knowledge everyday, something that Kelly encapsulates perfectly here. That's a Halloween movie if I've ever seen one, giant scary bunny suit or no.

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