Regardless of whether you like it, loathed it, or even understood it, it would be a great shame to mistake the influence that Donnie Darko had. Bringing a wider spotlight to post-modernist film narratives, to launching a renaissance of striped down ballad redemptions of pop songs. The result left audiences with a lingering curiosity to see if lightning could strike twice. In 2009, we got see the results of being in such a luminous shadow, as we follow the aftermath on the youngest sister in S. Darko.
Seven years after her brother’s death, Samantha and her friend Corey have run away to live a carefree neavue-hippy existence, travelling across state lines with her best friend Corey. However, their car breaks down in a small town in Utah, forcing the women to spend a couple of nights within its borders. Their presences manage to upset the social fabric of the town, while the town appears to be playing tricks on Samantha’s mind. Peculiar visions do haunt Samantha, apocalyptic prophecies of Meteorites and impending demise, all shepherded by an apparition of a young boy (much like her lost brother). Could history repeat itself, and would it be possible to change this fate with this precognition?
S. Darko returns Daveigh Chase as Donnie’s sister Samantha, who along with Briana Evigan as her friend, Corey, play some disenchanted youths looking for fun in sunny California. They both explore each situation with the sought of teenage angst that would make Daria proud. But if teenage drama sounds unappealing, there is a plethora of supernatural content to digest. There’s is an uncanny quality to the events on screen, this is to be expected considering the most memorable aspects of Donnie’s life have been opened to debate and analysis. But the human elements are certainly there, as Samantha and Corey get intermingled with the small town during their brief stay. Gulf War veterans, religious practitioners, and a fair few oddballs in-between that would rival Greenvale.
The creator sold the rights to the Darko franchise when he was young, and unfortunately, this sequel doesn’t have the benefit of his involvement. Fortunately, the newcomers have brought some of their analyses to the screen. Viewers now have the pleasure of dissecting C.G.I. geometric curiosities much akin to the finale of Cube 2: Hypercube and the familiar feeling of precognition are also given a second outing, along with the cast provides challenging stuff, but much like a brain teaser beckoning to be solved, as opposed to a chore demanding it.
S. Darko has a lot of impressive imagery that is just begging for interpretation. However, if that isn’t your cup of tea, its teenage antics, and secrets that befell a small-town help hammer the human drama, that feels perfectly married to the metaphysical machinations the made the previous film an acclaimed instalment. S. Darko is the kind of story that would have made for an impressive T.V. series back in the day. One that gets cancelled a little too soon for the intriguing plot points to be resolved but might muster enough of a cult following. Despite the looming challenge facing any sequel, the new filmmakers succeed in bringing their understanding to the peculiar predicament of the Darko clan, and if you’re willing to go down the rabbit hole, you’ll find a sequel that will leave you head over heels.
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