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YMMV: Donnie Darko
  • Adaptation Displacement: Not the movie itself, but the song "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 Eighties to think he is the original artist, rather than Tears for Fears.
  • Broken Base: Theatrical or director's cut...?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Frank. Although he becomes less creepy when the theater scene comes up.
  • 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.
  • Sequelitis: The sequel/spinoff SDarko.
  • 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.
  • 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: Patrick Swayze as a motivational speaker who's also a closet pedophile.
    • An even worse case was narrowly averted; the studio's ideas about the casting of Donnie included Mark Wahlberg (who was already thirty) and Vince Vaughn (who was already thirty, and didn't look eighteen when he was eighteen).


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