Blu-Ray Review: ‘Donnie Darko’ Sequel ‘S. Darko’ a Total Disaster

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CHICAGO – How bluntly can I put this? “S. Darko” is one of the worst movies ever made. It is an absolute head-scratching experience that leaves you not pondering the secrets of the universe but how this cinematic nightmare got made in the first place. Donnie saved the world for this? I’d rather get hit by a plane engine than sit through it again.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 0.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 0.0/5.0

I can usually find something to like about a movie. The worst films are usually so-bad-they’re-fun. I have rarely been as aggravated by a film as “S. Darko”. I know what the “S” stands for and it’s a word I can’t use here without asterisks.

S. Darko was released on Blu-Ray on May 12th, 2009.
S. Darko was released on Blu-Ray on May 12th, 2009.
Photo credit: Paramount/Showtime

Why so upset? Because “S. Darko” will now always spring to mind when I think of or re-watch Richard Kelly’s excellent “Donnie Darko” and that’s just not right. Director Craig Fisher has not just made an awful movie. He’s done so in a way that impacts the legacy of a good one.

You know that drunk guy who corners you at a party and tries to explain the ins and outs of a complex, multi-layered movie but he really has only scratched the surface? That’s “S. Darko”. It’s a film that takes the basics of the first movie and manipulates them into a nonsensical story. It’s like bad fan fiction with a budget.

The title of “S. Darko” refers to Donnie’s younger sister Samantha (Daveigh Chase, the same young lady who played the character in the original and the only carry-over). Her commitment to Sparkle Motion is seriously over as the young lady tries to head to California with her friend Corey (Briana Evigan).

The two women break down in the middle of nowhere and find themselves stranded in a small town. Cue the creepy visions, predictions of the end of the world, alternative music soundtrack, and stupid dialogue.

“S. Darko” looks okay on Blu-Ray although the camera and visual choices are so misguided that I can’t give the HD transfer too many points. Same goes for the audio in Dolby 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Sure, it’s good, but you have to keep in mind what you’re listening to.

Special features include a commentary with the filmmakers, deleted scenes, “The Making of S. Darko,” and “Utah Too Much”. I found it incredibly ironic that most of the first part of the “Making of” doc detailed the cast and crew’s hesitant response to making a sequel to a movie that clearly didn’t need one. They say you can learn as much from a bad movie as a good one. The lesson here is clearly to trust your instincts.

‘S. Darko’ is released by Fox Home Video and stars Daveigh Chase, Briana Evigan, Jackson Rathbone, James Lafferty, Zulay Henao, Elizabeth Berkley, John Hawkes, and Ed Westwick. It was written by Nathan Atkins and directed by Chris Fisher. The Blu-Ray was released on May 12th, 2009. It is not rated.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

Anonymous's picture

review

That’s quite harsh. First off after seeing Donnie Darko, for the first time, it was a good thriller. I didn’t quite understand how Donnie experiences that stuff and it was a little hard to follow. S. Darko, which stands for Samantha Darko, DUH!, They couldn’t come up with a better name, flows nicely. It’s easier to follow how everything is connected, but again there’s no explanation for how the visions surface exactly. Yes in Donnie Darko, Donnie was having emotional psychological problems but it showed that clearly, whereas in S. Darko, Iraq Jack is just shown as a “crazee” that came back from Iraq, with no real background. It wasn’t a horrible sequel, just not in depth enough. It ties to Donnie Darko nicely, with repeating references and even a clip. Plus, it makes sense to have the original girl playing the sister, and having it be the sister. More explanation could have been added to give it more depth. I don’t understand the road trip, I agree with you there, it doesn’t seem to work for me. But saying it was complete crap doesn’t do justice.

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