Saturday, May 10, 2008

Part II

We in The Middle Room are not intrinsically opposed to sequels. However, there are some movies which end, where continuation is neither required nor welcome.

We were alerted to the project, as usual, by Ain't It Cool News, and we can find little fault in their analysis of the situation. Were Rickard Kelly (iD&Di: .81) returning, obsessed with telling another story in the same er... multi-verse (the universe most of Donnie Darko took place in was destroyed during the movie), well then, we might be intrigued.

As it is, we are baffled. Since hearing about this project we have been trying to think of movies where a sequel would be LESS appropriate. While we were able to think of a few such films, the list was short, indeed.

The only conclusion we've been able to reach is that a studio executive somewhere is under the impression that Donnie Darko is a horror movie. And, as we all know, the way to make money is to make sequels to successful horror movies.

Of course, Donnie Darko is not horror. There are elements, to be sure, and imagines in the film that are frightening, but it is science fiction first and foremost. It is also a dark comedy, a period piece, and a tribute to genre films of the 1980's.

It is not, in any sense, the first chapter of a longer story.

One wonders if the sequel will take a similar approach to the 1990's. It is hard to imagine how such a film would work. The 80's were the decade of Back to the Future, ET, and a hundred other wonders. The 90's were a less fertile time for science fiction at the movies. Surely there were some wonderful films produced, but little as iconic as what came before. The Matrix came out in 1999, but that was more a harbinger of the year 2000 than a product of the 90's. Most other science fiction films of note were either sequels or remakes. Anime was popular, as I recall. There were several television shows of note, among them The X-Files, which encapsulates the era as well as anything else I can think of. Will "S. Darko" try to capture that tone? I suppose it is possible.

But all of this just continues to beg the question, "Why bother?"

We'll have to wait and see if they can produce a satisfactory answer.

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