Donnie Darko - Limited Edition

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Friday April 21, 2017

Donnie Darko - Limited Edition

Even the most ardent fan will be over the moon for Arrow Video's comprehensive new release of the Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal-starring cult classic from 2001, "Donnie Darko."

Jake Gyllenhaal stars as the title character, a teenager whose sleepwalking affliction saves him from a disaster. But that very same disaster seems to set the clock running on a countdown for an even greater catastrophe -- something that might endanger all of space and time. Or is all in Donnie's head? You have to wonder, given Donnie's strange relationship with Frank, an entity that looks like a tall man in a Goth-syle rabbit suit. (Macabre shades of the Jimmy Stewart comedy "Harvey" here?) The entire town is gripped by bizarre happenings that point to intriguing, if sinister, forces at work. Holmes Osborne, Mary McDonnell, and Patrick Swayze also star.

Arrow Video is a U.K. company that's made a name for itself among British horror fans, but which is now making a splash stateside as well. This release is sure to draw the company plenty of fresh interest from the American audience. The four-disc set of Richard Kelly's debut feature presents the theatrical version as well as Kelly's Director's Cut, in which Kelly answers some of the theatrical version's outstanding questions, only to raise even more perplexing ones. (The Director's Cut also digs itself more firmly into Donnie's perspective and his brilliant, and maybe delusional, mind.)

Both versions are provided twice over, on DVD and Blu-ray formats, and both versions have been given star treatment with 4K restorations prepared from the original camera negatives. A booklet comes along with the discs, boasting a Jake Gyllenhaal-written introduction, a new interview with Richard Kelly, and contributions from a variety of writers, as well as stills from the film.

The other extras are too numerous to list here. Among the highlights: Kelly and Gyllenhaal appear on an audio commentary for the theatrical version; a second commentary track features other members of the cast, along with Sean McKittrick. Kelly is back for an audio commentary on the Director's Cut version, and he's joined by -- how perfect is this -- Kevin Smith.

The Donnie Darko Production Diary delves into the film's creation, but, for something the way of a conceptual prequel, have a look at Kelly's short film "The Goodbye Place."

Trailers, galleries, deleted scenes, and a music video of Gary Jules' cover of "Mad World" cover help round out the social features.

Exhaustive as the extras are, and desirable as this set might be to the film's legions of fans, there's one omission: Kelly's 2009 sequel, "S. Darko," might have found a home here. That would have been a completist's dream, but even without the follow-up film, this set satisfies as the last word in Darkoniana. Don't hesitate, or you're lost: This edition is limited to 10,000 copies.

"Donnie Darko"

DVD/Blu-ray Combo Boxed Set


Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.