YMMV / Donnie Darko

  • Awesome Music: "Mad World".
  • Broken Base: Theatrical or director's cut...? Longtime fans tend to prefer the more ambiguous theatrical version, but newcomers find the director's cut more accessible precisely due to its more concrete lore. Others just can't get over The Killing Moon being replaced with Never Tear Us Apart.
  • Counterpart Comparison: There's a lot to be compared with Death Note. An anti-hero with messy hair, sunken eyes and poor social skills. A terrifying apparition that can see future deaths. A clean-cut, well-respected figure who is a manipulative monster behind closed doors and his growing cult etc.
  • Covered Up: "Mad World", which is played over the credits. That version is sung by Gary Jules, doing a cover, causing many people not born in The '80s to think he is the original artist, rather than Tears for Fears.
  • Epileptic Trees: Where do we START?!
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Go to any fan forum and ask "what was the film about". The number of interpretations given will be greater than or equal to number of members of the forum.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: At the beginning of the film where Donnie arrives home, his mom is looking at him as if to say, "and just where have you been?" with a book in her hand. Considering the story of the recent film starts in October 1988, it seems almost fitting that Donnie's mom is reading It.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Misaimed Fandom: The film is frequently labeled, for better and worse, by emos and emo-haters, as one of the most emo films of all time. It's actually a massive deconstruction, especially the Director's Cut.
    • You can blame IMDB's forums for the labeling.
  • Narm: A little from some of the minor characters.
    • "Mad World".
  • Padding: Most of Cherita's scenes. They're not even that crazy in terms of event, they just stick out as odd interludes and barely affect the plot at all.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Seth Rogen makes his film debut as Ricky Danforth.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Quite a few of the background characters reappear in several scenes. Word of God says that there's meant to be a sense of conspiracy about them.
  • Sequelitis: The sequel/spinoff S. Darko.
  • Spiritual Licensee: Often seen as one to The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, due to the shared setting of a pre-apocalyptic parallel universe centered around a masked antagonist. The most obvious connection, however, is the bumper cards both follow the same "Day: X Days/Hours Remain" format.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The Director's Cut gets a lot of flak for replacing the opening song The Killing Moon with Never Tear Us Apart. Nevermind the fact that the only reason the theatrical cut didn't open with the latter was that Kelly couldn't secure the rights for the song at the time. Furthermore, The Killing Moon was not actually removed from the Director's Cut the song is played in its originally intended sequence towards the end of the film, where it arguably packs an even greater punch.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Richard Kelly started his career with this cult-favorite. His next big move: Southland Tales, which did so terribly with both critics and the public that Hollywood ran his Auteur License through a shredder. (Domino came before Southland, but Kelly was only screenwriter on it, not director.)
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: Part of what got the work acclaim.
  • Vindicated by History: Did poorly in theaters, largely because it debuted about a month after the September 11 attacks, note  but did well abroad and on DVD and is now a Cult Classic.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Though there are parts that look like the cameraman took some.
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?:


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/DonnieDarko