One more comment about DD. If anyone is familiar with the work of Gregg Araki (and most of those who are justifiably despise him), you'll notice a lot of similarities between Donnie Darko
and Araki's film Nowhere.
DD is arguably the much better film, but it's heavily influence by Araki. Both movies are about teen alienation in a quasi-goth world of suburban American, both have hip alternative soundtracks, both are about a guy slowly losing his sanity, both have eerie Christian motivational speakers on background televisions, both have destructive house parties at the end, both have their protagonist imagining a large, strangely scary/funny creature from the netherworld (in Nowhere it's a green alien with a taser, in DD it's the rabbit), and both of them have Kafka-esque openings or closings. Finally, Kelly boldly declares his Nowhere
influence by expressly casting, as Frank the bunny rabbit, the lead actor of Araki's film, James Duval. This is no coincidence.