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.

 Liked This? Then see:

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter for the latest news, features and reviews delivered straight to your inbox.

Follow us on Twitter


    • nick1991

      Mar 31st 2009, 16:30

      Seems like samantha has the same powers as her brother ends up travelling back in time and becoming the enigma that is grandma death as a 'clever' twist on the original picture. It's gonna suck

      Alert a moderator

    • RauolDuke

      Mar 31st 2009, 23:48

      I forgot they were even making this movie. Sad to say but I'm still going to buy it to see it, like 'they' said "stoners wouldn't notice if you shaved their heads in the night and painted their faces green. It'll be fine." Now i might have take offense to that if it wasn't true lol

      Alert a moderator

    • ReelAuteur

      Apr 1st 2009, 4:39

      Lets say for arguments sake that its a sequel! I think your being too literal here, i've seen the trailer and 3/4 of it is nothing like Donnie. The poster is similar but in no way a copy, and its hardly a crime, back to the future 2 and 3 both recycled the original poster, ok so it was the same cast and crew but just because S.Darko had a different cast and crew doesn't mean it needs to be totally seperate from Donnie. I agree that the waking up connection is rubbish, they dont need it her names is Darko that should be an obvious enough link to her brother, but i do believe that the time worms and the countdown are essential to a sequel. Take them away and you have a film that just has the same name and no connections with the original, it wouldn't be a sequel or a remake! I also think that their should be some sort of figure i.e Frank but should definately be different, recycling the rabbit is very very lazy. also the lady death similar shot, is a stretch especially for you guys, could be a nod to Donnie but in no way has anything to do with Lady Death storyline mash up lol sure.....! Although dont get me wrong, like every other cult follower of Donnie i was horrified to here that a sequel was being made, and its probably gonna be total pants, but its been made so im gonna give it a go. Remember no one liked Donnie to start with...........

      Alert a moderator

    • spudmonkeysteve

      Apr 1st 2009, 9:12

      But why do we need a sequel? Why can their not be one single stand alone piece of cinematic art anymore? Remakes, reimaginings and unnecessary sequels are becoming the hallmark of this new century of cinema and I for one am not glad of it. Personally, when it comes to films I love, I am quite happy to subscribe to the addage 'if you love them, let them go'. Let it rest, let questions go unanswered and don't seek resolution where there can be none. Whats next? 'Eternal Sunshine of Another Slightly Less Spotless Mind', '13 Monkeys' or how about 'Brazil 2: Escape to Rio De Janeiro'? Come on guys raise the bar and stop ripping off classic cinema for the pathetic amount of monetary return it garners. PS the Lady Death shot is exactly the same but shot slightly fancier, a feature that defines most of the new breed of re-imaginings.

      Alert a moderator

    • KerrAvon

      Apr 1st 2009, 10:28

      Had a quick read about the film on imdb and it sounds diabolical. Samantha's is not a Darko at all she's adopted, she is involved in a car crash on the way to Hollywood & must save small town from its end after a meteor crashes or may crash, I was rapidly losing the will to live at this stage so feel free to check it out yourself. It sounds like a Silent Hill story, just not as good, or scary or in anyway related to Silent Hill, in a word awful. I'm still hoping this is an April Fools.

      Alert a moderator

    • KerrAvon

      Apr 1st 2009, 10:37

      I had a quick read about the film and it sounds awful. Apparently Samanthan is adopted and is on the way to Hollywood when there is a car crash and she wakes up in this small town knowing that something bad is going to happen, it had something to do with a meteor but I was losing the will to live at this stage so feel free to check it out yourself. I'm hoping this is an april fool as it sounds like a Silent Hill game just one that isn't scary, or has a good story & has nothing to do with Silent Hill. Awful.

      Alert a moderator

Most Popular