The 10 Best Alternate Universes In Sci-Fi

By Josh Tyler | 9 years ago

The World Where Donnie Darko Lives as seen in Donnie Darko
“Every living creature dies alone.” That’s the warning Donnie receives from Grandma Death, and it’s the fate he avoids at the beginning of the movie when he leaves his bed just before a jet engine crashes through his bedroom roof. Guided by visions of his creepy, hell-bunny spirit guide Frank, Donnie falls in love, commits crimes, exposes a pedophile, and tries to figure out why the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds. In the end, every one of the film’s characters is affected by Donnie, and then he returns to the inciting moment at the beginning of the film and chooses to stay in his bed and meet his death.

Is it to put reality back in balance and save the universe? Is it to prevent the death of his once and future girlfriend, Gretchen? It could be one, or the other, or both, or neither. That’s the beauty of Donnie Darko, that it lends itself to a thousand different interpretations. Writer/director Richard Kelly provides tons of murky mythology involving the mechanics of time travel on the DVD, but the questions raised by the original film are a lot more compelling than any of the concrete answers provided. And you just can’t beat that closing montage, set to Gary Jules’ cover of “Mad World.”

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