Donnie Darko is one of those films that is the definition of cult. Released originally in 2001 the indie period piece taking place in 1988 starring a very young Jake Gyllenhaal and Jena Malone disappeared from theaters after a very limited and disappointing theatrical release. It was on home video that this film found an audience with its story of a troubled teenager living in suburbia, who is tasked by a giant bunny named Frank to stop the apocalypse. Dealing in time travel, destiny, tangent universes and mortality Darko wasn’t such an easy pill to swallow for most, but those who resonated with its outsider anti-hero begun to sing the praises of this little film that in 2004 was re-released theatrically in an expanded Director’s cut.
Messing with perfection can be a tricky thing and the Director’s Cut failed to gel with fans. Admittedly director even Richard Kelly has claimed it was more for an excuse to re-release the film in theaters, rather than something he truly wanted. This explains why for the 15th Anniversary the original theatrical edition is the one hitting theaters and will be screening at the Prince Theater Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. in a beautiful new 4K Digital Restoration. I caught a screening of this new restoration earlier this year and I was really surprised at not only how great the film looked and sounded, but also how well the film still held up. Watching it now, it also became very apparent how Donnie Darko has gone on to infect so many other properties we now know and love with its DNA.
So if you’re a fan definitely don’t miss this rare opportunity to check out Donnie Darko on the big screen, and keep a lookout for a guy in a rabbit suit in the theater.
Donnie Darko: 4K Restoration
Prince Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street
Thursday, April 20 @ 7:30 p.m.
Pick up tickets on Filmadelphia.org