“20 Years Ago, ‘Donnie Darko’ Ruined Sci-Fi With One Tedious Trick”

One advantage of freelancing is that I get to choose my gigs. I don’t have to write about movies I don’t like, or god forbid I actively hate. I can focus on things that make me happy and ignite my love of the medium. But every once in a while it’s good to face the movies you don’t like, and I have disliked Donnie Darko for so long that I’m grateful for a chance to scratch that itch.

In 2021 I can tell you exactly what bugs me about this movie, and it’s that Richard Kelly wants me to do homework to make sense of it. Look, it’s not as if I don’t read up on history when I’m reviewing or otherwise covering biopics, but that’s the expectation. For a mopey teen sci-fi time travel movie, I’m not expecting future supplements that will make up for gaping holes in the script and in the plot. C’mon, Donnie Darko.

You can read the entire 20th anniversary piece for Inverse.


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