Was Donnie schizophrenic? Is he, in fact, a supernaturally empowered avatar chosen by unknown forces? Did any of the film's events even happen? Such are the questions that sent people running to the pub to debate just what the hell Kelly had in mind when he wrote this story. That of a teenager who's warned about the end of the world by a six foot, talking rabbit after a jet engine falls on his house. Part supernatural chiller, part '80s teen drama and part philosophical musing on wormhole theory and the transience of human existence. Donnie Darko is not a film that lends itself to easy categorization and, unwilling to compromise his convoluted vision for studio palates, 27-year-old writer/director Richard Kelly almost had to launch his debut
on cable television. Luckily, though, this exquisite slice of sci-fi surrealism was rescued from the precipice of DTV and went on to become a cult hit while simultaneously placing Jake Gyllenhaal on the road to stardom. A bizarre concoction it undoubtedly is but Donnie Darko raised the bar for independent thinking and reinvented the teen genre for the new Millennium. Utter genius.