The Restoration of‘Donnie Darko’

"Donnie Darko"

There are cult movies, and then there is “Donnie Darko.” Richard Kelly’s 2001 mind-trip barely made any buzz after it first screening at the Sundance Film Festival, but that didn’t stop it from becoming one of the most intensely beloved cult hits of the 21st century. Every year it seems “Donnie Darko” amasses a ton of new followers, and it’s become a right of passage for any cinephile looking to make a dent in contemporary cult cinema. Fortunately, the BFI has given the film a major 4K restoration, and they’ve released a head-spinning new trailer to get fans excited for its December release.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays the troubled and misunderstood Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal), a teen living in suburban Virginia who is visited by a man in a horrifying rabbit costume and told the world will come to an end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds. Donnie’s world predictably unravels and Kelly unleashes a darkness that finds its way into the very headspace of the viewer. And that’s pretty much how an indie psychodrama becomes an immortal cult classic. Jena Malone, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore and Mary McDonnell co-star.

Take a trip down memory lane with the BFI’s official restoration trailer below. Let’s hope the revival makes its way to U.S. theaters sometime soon.