S. Darko (2009) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

S. Darko (2009) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on January 21st, 2021 | Movie Review | Road Trip, Supernatural, Mind Bender, Psychological, Motel

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It's about a couple of friends on a road trip that ends abruptly in a small town about a week before the end of the world.

S. Darko was directed by Chris Fisher and stars Daveigh Chase (from Jack Goes Home and The Rats), Briana Evigan (from Mine Games, Burning Bright and Sorority Row) and James Lafferty (from Oculus).

It's Time To Travel Forward

S. Darko Review

S. Darko is the sequel to Donnie Darko, the cult classic about a mentally ill teen who goes on a crime spree in a small town. Donnie Darko movie ends when a jet engine falls out of the sky, crushing him to death. Fast-forward 7 years and you have his sister Samantha, now all grown up, on a road trip with her friend Corey. Samantha's family fell apart after Donnie died so she's off to start a new life in California. But they hit a snag when they get stranded in a small dusty town in Utah.

S. Darko is a heavily character driven movie that revolves around a guy the locals call "Iraq Jack", a homeless Desert Storm vet. He has a supernatural-ish imaginary friend who warns of the exact date and time of the end of the world, just as Donnie was. One night there's a meteor shower that disrupts the entire town and sends everyone into strange and tragic time dimensions. 

This movie is a very depressed, slow BPM one. If S. Darko were a song it would be Threads by Portishead (video below). It's very dreamy, very psychedelic. It's a slow comfortable watch, but one that manages to hold your attention. Part of this was the setting, it was a quait little town drenched in abandoned Americana. The streets were always empty, main street was half boarded up and people there had plenty of time and space to do anything they wanted without fear of consequence.

S. Darko has its own unique style that's very different from Donnie Darko, it almost doesn't feel like its sequel. But, there are endless similarities to keep Donnie Darko on your mind. Both movies start with a beautiful view at dawn. Both have scenes of a Darko waking up in the middle of the street. Both Darko's sleepwalk. Both involve a mysterious object crashing to Earth being investigated by g-men and guys in hazmat suits. Both count down to the end of the world. In Donnie Darko the world is set to end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds (on Halloween). In S. Darko it's 4 days, 17 hours, 26 minutes, 31 seconds (on the 4th of July). And, of course, they both have guys in creepy bunny suits.

One cool detail was a shot of an old movie theater showing 12 Monkeys (a guy has to go back in time to fix things) and Strange Days (a fight for survival on the last day of the world), both on point with the plot.

Alright, so with all that being said, is it a good movie? Most people say no. They compare it directly to Donnie Darko which it doesn't even come close to. But that doesn't mean it's not good. I personally really liked S. Darko, seen it twice already. You just have to be in the mood for something slow and psychedelic.

Worth Watching?

I think so. It's very different from Donnie Darko but that's partly what makes it stand out. It's like what Army of Darkness is to Evil Dead, or what Book of Shadows is to The Blair Witch Project in how different they are from their originals while still being good standalones.

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If S. Darko were a song...

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