Fifteen years before Stranger Things combined science fiction, Spielberg-ian touches and 80s nostalgia for much acclaim, Richard Kelly set the template – and highly watermarked – with his debut feature, Donnie Darko. Originally filled with distribution problems, it would slowly find its audience and emerge as without a doubt the first cult classic of the new millennium. Donnie is a troubled high school student: in therapy, prone to sleep deprivation and in the possession of an imaginary friend, a six-foot rabbit named Frank, who tells him that the world will end in 28 days 06 hours 42 minutes and 12 seconds. During that time, he will navigate his teens, narrowly avoid death in the form of a falling jet engine, follow Frank’s misaligned instructions, and try to maintain continuity in space-time. Described by the director as “The Catcher in the Rye as Told by Philip K. Dick”, Donnie Darko combines an eye-catching, eclectic cast – before star Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, heart rider Patrick Swayze, former child star Drew Barrymore, Oscar nominees Mary McDonnell and Katherine Ross, and TV favorite Noah Wyle – and an evocative soundtrack of 80s classics by Echo and the Bunnymen, Tears for Fears and Duran Duran. This brand new 4K restoration, performed exclusively for this release of Arrow Video, means that a modern classic finally gets the home video processing it deserves.
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