Donnie Darko


One key story element within Donnie Darko is supernatural themes. Some of the main features of this in the film are:
  * The character Frank
  * The theme of time-travel
  * The theme of alternate universes

Richard Kelly uses the production element of sound, dialogue and sounds effects in DD to show supernatural themes. In the scene where Donnie first meets Frank, sound is a major factor in creating the atmosphere of mystery and supernaturalism. Once Donnie wakes, the voice of Frank, a completely unknown character at this point, comes into the film. His voice is commanding, frightening especially because it is so inhuman. A non-human character/element is a key example of supernatural elements. As Donnie walks out of his house, there is a background track as Frank speaks. It is ambient, but creates a mood of intrigue and confusion. It reflects upon the dream-like state that Donnie is in; it does not feel like we are in real time. This is because this takes place in an alternate reality as well as Donnie’s altered state of consciousness (sleepwalking almost). The way Frank is presented in the scene introduces him as mysterious and frightening. This is partly because of his voice, so dominant and strange. It is a key focus point within the soundscape of this scene. For the viewer, his voice is so important because it is leading Donnie out of his house to an unknown location. When they speak, Donnie talks in a curious and sinister tone much unlike his normal voice. This again makes this scene feel like a dream.