Top 14 Donnie Darko Movie Facts

Following is our collection of Donnie Darko facts. Handpicked and verified, these little-known details can be obscure enough most people will miss. These behind the scene easter eggs and hidden messages will give you another view of Donnie Darko film message.

Donnie Darko (2001) early on in a promotional video for motivational speaker Jim Cunningham, you briefly see him get a little to handsy with a child while hugging. Later on it's revealed he is the leader of a child porn ring.
Donnie Darko (2001) early on in a promotional video for motivational speaker Jim Cunningham, you briefly see him get a little to handsy with a child while hugging. Later on it's revealed he is the leader of a child porn ring.
There is a carved pumpkin on the kitchen island that appears to resemble Frank's bunny mask.
There is a carved pumpkin on the kitchen island that appears to resemble Frank's bunny mask.

Donnie Darko Easter Eggs

Hidden objects, characters, easter eggs, and their meanings are wonderful ways to discover the filmmaker's perspectives of any given movie.

  • 1 - He dismisses the idea that all actions are either caused by fear or love. Ironically, most of his actions throughout the film are caused by either of these two emotions. Donnie's harmful acts are a result of his fear of Frank. He 'saves the world' to save the girl he loves.
    He dismisses the idea that all actions are either caused by fear or love. Ironically, most of his actions throughout the film are caused by either of these two emotions. Donnie's harmful acts are a result of his fear of Frank. He 'saves the world' to save the girl he loves.

Donnie Darko Hidden Details

1 - When Donnie's mom and sister are at the airport, the PA in the background can be heard announcing flight 2806 at gate 42 - Donnie's mom says it's the "red eye" flight (leaving at 12 o'clock midnight). 28:06:42:12 is the countdown Frank gives Donnie. [Bonus: more in commments]
When Donnie's mom and sister are at the airport, the PA in the background can be heard announcing flight 2806 at gate 42 - Donnie's mom says it's the "red eye" flight (leaving at 12 o'clock midnight). 28:06:42:12 is the countdown Frank gives Donnie. [Bonus: more in commments]

Patrick Swayze's character Jim Cunningham, who is later revealed to be a pedophile, slaps a little boy on the butt in a promo video for his self-help video series. You would never think anything of it or notice it on the first viewing.

1 - Motivational speaker Jim Cunningham is seen groping a child's butt in his "controlling fear" inspirational video. Later in the movie he is arrested for kiddie porn.
Motivational speaker Jim Cunningham is seen groping a child's butt in his "controlling fear" inspirational video. Later in the movie he is arrested for kiddie porn.
1 - The child from Jim Cunningham's video appears at the assembly, showing that he is using plants instead of real students
The child from Jim Cunningham's video appears at the assembly, showing that he is using plants instead of real students

Jim Cunningham, who is later revealed to be a pedophile, is shown grabbing a boy's butt during one of his inspirational videos.

The fat jogger who interrupts Donnie and Gretchen's kiss is actually an FAA agent sent to keep an eye on Donnie due to the engine incident.

1 - Donnie is the only one riding his bike without the light on. He doesn't need it because he can see "God's Channel".
Donnie is the only one riding his bike without the light on. He doesn't need it because he can see "God's Channel".

Days which, coincidentally, virtually matches the time that transpired in the film. The movie took place between October 2nd, 1988 to the weekend party scene before Halloween on October 31st, 1988.

1 - : Jim Cunningham is a metaphor for Satan. Donnie accuses him of being like the Antichrist, his destruction is characterized by fire when his house burns down, and he mentions 3 temptations that teenagers face, mirroring the three temptations of Christ by Satan in the Bible.
: Jim Cunningham is a metaphor for Satan. Donnie accuses him of being like the Antichrist, his destruction is characterized by fire when his house burns down, and he mentions 3 temptations that teenagers face, mirroring the three temptations of Christ by Satan in the Bible.

's opening scene we actually see Donnie pass Frank's red Pontiac at around (1:56) which later causes the 'Ensurance Trap', also note the timing of the song lyrics. The film is full of these little details which makes it so easy to rewatch.

Donnie Darko poster
Donnie Darko poster

Donnie Darko Plot

After narrowly escaping a bizarre accident, a troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes.

Cast and Details

Here are the full cast and crew of Donnie Darko. The goofs, crazy credits, and trivia they have performed may have not taken your attention. Some are hidden for a reason, while others randomly forgotten.

Genre Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Director Richard Kelly
Stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Holmes Osborne, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Daveigh Chase
IMDB score 8.0