Aug 10, 2009

[Movies] S. Darko (2009)

S. DarkoHollywood seems to be playing a very conservative and cautious game in terms of approving new movie projects. You know what I mean - we're seeing less and less interestingly unique movies and instead we're getting more and more sequels, expanded franchises and rehashes of pre-established movie "formulas". The studios don't want to risk money on movies that won't be assured of at least breaking even, and thus we are stuck with the notion that people love watching sequels and things that are supposedly familiar.

As much as sequels can be fun, they have to be done well and not simply end up as re-hashes of what producers believe to be the primary elements that made the movie successful the first time around. It's just plain insulting and we usually end up with more and more disappointing movies littering the landscape.

And then there are those sequels that not only come out bad but actually threaten to destroy the fan base of the original film. Oh the horror!

Case in point is S. Darko (tagged as A Donnie Darko Tale), the direct-to-video sequel to the cult classic Donnie Darko. Given Donnie died at the end of the first film (I don't think that counts as a spoiler), the movie now follows his sister Samantha (Daveigh Chase), who has gone off on a road trip with he friend Corey (Briana Evigan) in order to become professional dancers. They have car trouble and get stuck in the small town of Conejo Springs (see the rabbit reference!) where Samantha starts sleepwalking and showing up in creepy visions to shell-shocked war veteran Justin (James Lafferty) and her dream self does the whole "the world is going to end" bit once again.

The movie just comes out weird in a horribly wrong way. I can tell where they wanted to draw on the success of the first movie and assembled different bits and pieces from that movie and came up with...something completely different. There was the notion of time travel and this time Samantha plays the role of the scary voice of the future and there was even a bunny suit but none of it made sense.

The pacing of the film was horribly slow and dragging and so many times they tried to come out profound and they only managed to be incoherent. The acting was even worse than their supposed plot and it was a small miracle that I managed to stay awake long enough to finish the movie. My partner was more fortunate given he did fall asleep and missed significant parts of the movie.

This movie is just plain bad and it threatens to make you question why you ever liked Donnie Darko in the first place and is something that I strongly advise against watching. Ever. Seriously. Don't even think about it! Don't even try to be curious. Do you think this movie might hold some answers or new insights into the first movie? It doesn't! Stay away! Don't say I didn't warn you!

S. Darko gets barely 1 re-imagined bunny mask out of 5.

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