S. Darko (A Donnie Darko Tale) (2009)
US (dir. Chris Fisher)
Cast: Briana Evigan, Daveigh Chase, Ed Westwick
Synopsis: The story picks up seven years after the first film when little sister Samantha Darko and her best friend Corey are now 18 and on a roadtrip to Los Angeles when they are plagued by bizarre visions.
Review: Straight to DVD movies make me nervous since it is almost a guarantee that the film will suck… epically suck. “Midnight Movie” was a prime example of straight to DVD suckage. And just like “Midnight Movie”, “S. Darko” suffers from the same fate. It sucks. It sucks epically. It sucks so bad, it’s almost painful. The worst part is that this is supposed to be a sequel to “Donnie Darko”. I don’t even want to call it a sequel to “Donnie Darko”, because every time I do it kills me inside. How could this piece of crap be a sequel to the cult classic? It hurts me to think about it.
It isn’t widely known that “Donnie Darko” was destined to be a straight to DVD movie. I bet a lot of people who didn’t know that are probably thinking, “Whoa, really?”. But yeah, it’s true. “Donnie Darko” was originally intended to head straight to DVD. So you can imagine my thought-process going into “S. Darko”. I figured “Hey, ‘Donnie Darko’ was gonna go straight to DVD, so why not give ‘S. Darko’ a chance? It might turn out great!”. Wrong. Dead wrong.
Essentially every aspect of the original film is reduced, reused, and recycled in “S. Darko”. The creepy bunny? Reused. The liquid spears coming out of people’s bodies? Recycled. The twisty ending? Reused (TWICE! TWICE IN THE SAME MOVIE! ARGH!). The message and the character developent? Reduced and reused. I honestly feel like I could list EVERYTHING from Donnie Darko and it would somehow appear in this… bastardized film. If you’re going to make a sequel to a movie, why is it necessary to reuse so so so much of it? Thankfully, they didn’t just revert to using clips of the first movie. I understand a sequel should rely on some aspects of the original (in terms of storyline, characters, etc. etc.) but it’s really not enjoyable to watch this movie when so much of it feels ripped from the first. There’s nothing really original offered here. The closest we get to something novel would be the more heavy handed religious aspects and the sub-plot involving a creepy pedophile priest (yet even that is ripped from the first, considering the whole sub-plot of the child porn ring).
There really is nothing in this movie worth checking out. The gist of the movie is that Samantha Darko (Donnie Darko’s little sister) is all grown up and rebelling against her family by running away from home with her extremely skanky best friend. The two end up in some backwards town on their way to California and decide to shack up there because there’s “gonna be a house party” at some guy’s house. Who the hell decides to live in a town for an extended period of time in order to attend a house party with a bunch of strangers? I guess it was just the director’s excuse to include a house party scene (once again reused from the original! Ugh!). From there on, it pretty much just continues in the tradition of the original, except the girls sleepwalk around town so frequently it becomes absolutely ridiculos. There must have been at least 4 or 5 instances where the girls stumble around town in their shorty shorts and barely there tank tops. In all instances they hardly arouse a twitter from the locals. I guess they must be used to half-nude ladies wandering the lonely streets of their quiet little town at 3AM. Eventually there’s a whole double sacrifice thingy, where both girls end up dying for the sake of each other (or something along those lines) until eventually the town nutjob/essential bunny suit man goes back in time to save both of these little twits. The end. Yawn.
Before I end this ranting rampage, I have to mention how HORRIBLE the director/writer of this movie is (Chris Fisher… fucking asshole of Hollywood). The script is laughable. It sounds like a bunch of stoners having a pseudo “deep” conversation. Example: “I wonder what God’s farts taste like? Marshmallow Peeps?” I did some research and it turns out Chris Fisher is best known for director episodes of crappy TV shows like Cold Case or Moonlight, and for writing the scripts for movies about serial killers and gang-bangers. Wonderful. I’m not sure how a guy who once wrote a script involving gang-bangers and directed a movie about a notorious rapist was hired to write/direct the sequel to a cult classic coming of age horror film. I guess they’re giving anyone the right to ruin the classics these days so long as they have the ability to use a laptop and hammer out a script that’s not even worthy to wipe your ass with.