S. Darko (2009, Chris Fisher)

Terrifying as it might be to say, but S. Darko could actually be worse. It’s an official sequel to Donnie Darko as the producers of that film still had sequel rights, but Daveigh Chase–as this picture’s titular lead–is the only returning cast member. It certainly does not have the involvement from the original’s writer-director.

And S.’s director Fisher isn’t bad. He’s really not. The undoubtedly cheap Utah locations are beautiful. The DV doesn’t look great, but Fisher does have some good composition. And if he were telling the story of Chase and friend Briana Evigan broken down in the middle of nowhere, meeting strange people and cute boys… S. might be okay.

But not with Nathan Atkins’s script. His script plays like a terrible TV movie of the original, complete with story beats. Worst might be how people are constantly traveling through time, just because they wish they can. The other connections to the original flip off that film’s fans. S. is a desperate cash grab with an incompetent script.

Chase is okay in the lead. Evigan’s good about twenty percent of the time. Ed Westwick’s awkward, but quite good most of the time as the guy they meet. Nice supporting turn from John Hawkes too.

Sadly, the rest of the acting’s weak. For starters, Jackson Rathbone is atrocious as Chase’s suitor and James Lafferty’s inept as the town oddball.

S. Darko uses Elizabeth Berkley as stunt casting. Does anything else really need to be said?

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Chris Fisher; screenplay by Nathan Atkins, based on characters created by Richard Kelly; director of photography, Marvin V. Rush; edited by Kent Beyda; music by Ed Harcourt; production designer, Alfred Sole; produced by Adam Fields and Ash R. Shah; released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Starring Daveigh Chase (Samantha), Briana Evigan (Corey), Ed Westwick (Randy), James Lafferty (Iraq Jack), Bret Roberts (Officer O’Dell), Jackson Rathbone (Jeremy), John Hawkes (Phil), Matthew Davis (Pastor John), Walter Platz (Frank), Barbara Tarbuck (Agatha) and Elizabeth Berkley (Trudy).

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