Whodunit Slashers

Two popular subgenres converge. Film critic Steve Hutchison covers 50 excellent whodunit slashers and ranks them mathematically. A synopsis, five ratings, and a review are provided for each film. How many have you seen?

Donnie Darko

A troubled teenager is manipulated by recurring visions of an alternate dimension.
Big Plot Twist
United States
2001
Feature Film
Realism: 
Supernatural
Character Focus: 
Ghost Film
Psychic Film
Stalker: 
Sneaker
Cultists: 
Cleric
Guru
Relative: 
Mother
Father
Sibling
Trickster: 
Conman
Catastrophes: 
Accident
Apocalypse
Collapse
Crash
Paradox
Dimensional: 
Reflection
Spirit
Teleporter
Time Traveler
Nightmare
Unknown
Imaginary Friend
Psychics: 
Illusionist
Hypnotist
Medium
Telepathist
6
An introspective retrospective!
7.04
5.04
8
7.04
2
3
2
Performances
Plot
Ambiance
This mind-fuck is an honest depiction of teen angst and depression. It is the coming of age of someone who would rather die than live another year. We read in Darko’s distress because the camera adopts his cynical attitude. Time travel paradigms have rarely been illustrated under such a pessimist light; something only the 90’s could come up with. Ironically, the story takes place in the 80’s.
Some grade A actors are sprinkled across and are significant to Darko’s choices and fate; two important themes, here. A considerable amount of scientific theories are thrown our way in regards to the threat, but we never get straight answers to our questions. Dropping unaddressed hints and leaving us in the doubt is the only major mistake the creators made in crafting their mystery.
Donnie Darko is the film of two generations so other viewers may not feel they are in on the joke. It is a captivating dark period piece and satire that explores alarming feelings and fears humans have but rarely experiment. It is interested in “time ghosts” as much as it is in mental illness and imaginary friends. It works its magic by never explicitly drawing the line.
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