Samantha Darko: Sequel Or Remake?

7 suspicious shot for shot comparisons...

S. Darko will be begrudgingly released on DVD at the end of April.

Having kept a close gawp on the Donnie Darko sequel we're still not completely sure what it is. Is it a straight follow-up, or a weird re-imagining?

All signs pointed to sequel when the film was first proclaimed. The plot picks up seven years after the original flick, with Donnie's little sis, now aged 18, deciding to go on a road trip with one of her pals. A bloke in a rabbit suit shows up, the rest is history.

But having seen the poster and the trailer, we're starting to think this thing has to be a remake. Either that or the filmmakers are totally bereft of original ideas. Click through our feature and decide for yourselves...


We'll start with the posters. Donnie's at the top, Samantha's at the bottom. As you can see, all the S. Darko marketing team seem to have done is slap Samantha on the original poster, deleted the old cast, stretched the rabbit, adjusted the colours a bit, pinned it up on the wall and said:

"It might look pretty much exactly the same, but don't worry, no one will notice. Donnie Darko fans are all stoners, and most stoners wouldn't notice if you shaved their heads in the night and painted their faces green. It'll be fine." This seems to be a logic they've applied to the film, too.[page-break]


So, in the original Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes up in the middle of nowhere. His sister Samantha (Daveigh Chase) wakes up in the middle of nowhere in the new one, too.

"So what," say our imaginary filmmakers. "People wake up outside all the time! Especially teenagers, they love it! And, we're not sure if you got this, but Donnie and Samantha are related , it's practically in their genetics to wake up outside!"[page-break]


Yeah, the bunny’s back too. Even though he was totally and completely specific to Donnie. Although this time his teeth are even more jaggedy. So, that's okay then. Totally different, fresh and original.

We wonder if he speaks to Samantha in the same weird underwater voice. We bet he doesn't. He probably speaks like he's been inhaling helium, or does Daffy Duck impressions or something. The makers of S. Darko have way too much pride to rip that element off. Because it would absolutely make no sense.[page-break]


Remember the plane crash in Richard Kelly’s original? Well, new director Chris Fisher seems to enjoy things falling from the sky, too. "C'mon, guys," our imaginary filmmakers whine. "All films have explosions and stuff in them. Especially sequels."[page-break]


"Oh, and countdowns, all sequels have countdowns. It makes them more exciting." Yep, like her older brother before her, Samantha is up against a very specific deadline. But, put it this way, we aren't exactly counting the seconds until we can buy S. Darko from our local DVD emporium.[page-break]


On top, you’ll see Grandma Death (Patience Cleveland) in a dress, near a car. Underneath Samantha Darko, in a dress, near a car. We're sure this is a total coincidence. "Chicks love hanging around cars in dresses," say our pretend filmmakers. "Have you never been to a prom?"[page-break]


Those wobbly wibbly worm things from the original? Totally back. And front. Samantha really does have a lot in common with her brother. We've never seen twins that have been born 7 years apart, but were pretty sure that's the big twist of this film.[page-break]


Whirly plumes of smoke around a wormhole. Atmospheric. Oh, this is definitely a remake. It'd be too serendipitous for two smoke machines to be switched on near a time-bending space holes at the exact same moment in two separate films. The prosecution rests.

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