"Why are you wearing that stupid man-suit?" - Frank
FraNk AnDerSon, commonly referred to as simply "Frank", is a central character and main antagonist in Donnie Darko, who is one of the primary forces setting in motion the events of the film.
Frank first appears At the beginning of the movie, on the night of October 2, waking Donnie from his sleep and luring him outside of his house. Frank, a mysterious figure appearing as a humanoid nightmarish rabbit, informs Donnie of an impending disaster which will occur in 28 days, stating that "That is when the world will end", before disappearing and leaving Donnie to wake up the next day in a golf course. Donnie returns home to discover that a massive jet engine has fallen into his house to his room.
Throughout October of 1988, Frank appears to Donnie at various points in time, taking the same form of a monstrous humanoid rabbit. Instructing Donnie to do various things throughout the month, such as flooding the school and burning Jim Cunningham's house down, all while maintaining a secretive, ominous attitude and constantly mentioning the approaching "end of the world".
Frank appears yet again on Halloween night. As Donnie and Gretchen Ross are being assaulted and threatened by the school bullies, a car speeds towards them from a nearby road, scaring the bullies off. As Gretchen lays on the ground, the speeding car runs her over and kills her. The car stops, and its two occupants exit to examine what has happened. The driver is revealed to be Frank. However, rather than donning his mysterious, paranormal, doom-predicting persona, he appears to be a normal, human version of himself, wearing the rabbit suit as a Halloween costume, who was simply going out to buy liquor. Frank's friend emerges from the vehicle, and the two panic at the situation. After realizing Gretchen is dead, Donnie impulsively aveneges her by shooting Frank through the eye with his father's pistol, which he obtained earlier in the film. Frank's friend flees in the opposite direction, while Frank himself lays lifeless on the road. Another Frank, wearing the full rabbit costume is visible throughout this scene, standing mysteriously among the bushes and watching these events unfold.
It is later revealed that Frank was a normal, human resident of Middlesex and Elizabeth Darko’s boyfriend, who after being killed, became one of the Manipulated Dead, paranormal, time-traveling entities who manifest as those who died during the events of the tangent universe, and who are tasked with guiding living receivers, in this case Donnie, on their purposes to fix corruptions in time and space. When Frank was shot dead on October 31, he became one of these entities, and traveled back in time to October 2nd and began appearing to Donnie in this form, Thus explaining why Frank appears as both a casual, normal person and a supernatural being.
Events Of The Film
In the middle of the night, on October 2, 1988, Donnie is awakened from his sleep by a strange voice and led out onto a golf course where he converses with a life-size demonic-looking rabbit named Frank who tells him that the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds, Donnie then falls asleep after being told this. After waking up on the golf course the next morning, Donnie returns home to discover that a huge jet engine has fallen from the sky and into his bedroom, and that the responding authorities do not know where it came from. After Donnie's house is repaired and his family returns to it, Frank appears to Donnie yet again and instructs him to flood his school. Donnie does as told, causing school to be cancelled for the day and leading to Donnie meeting Gretchen on the way home. Frank appears again to Donnie while he and Gretchen are in an empty movie theatre. While Gretchen is asleep, Frank manifests in the seat next to her, sitting in eerie silence. Donnie asks him "Why do you wear that stupid Bunny suit?" to which Frank replies with an ominous "Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?". Donnie orders Frank to "take it off.", to which Frank removes the rabbit mask, revealing him to appear as a human beneath the suit, with a bloody wound in one of his eyes. Donnie asks Frank about the situation, and his origins, receiving only enigmatic, vague answers. Frank ends up instructing Donnie to burn a local motivational speaker, Jim Cunningham's house down. Frank vanishes, leaving Donnie to his task. Donnie leaves the movie theatre temporarily while Gretchen is still asleep, goes to Jim's house while Jim is away, and sets it on fire. He manages to flee the scene, before firefighters arrive at the house and discover a room full of child pornography in the ruins, leading to Jim being arrested the following day. Later, when Donnie goes to his psychiatrist during a therapy session, Frank appears to Donnie again, simply staring at him menacingly, terrifying Donnie as he discloses what he sees to his therapist, before Frank vanishes once more. Frank ultimately appears on Halloween night. While Donnie and Gretchen are being attacked by the school bullies outside of Roberta Sparrow's house, a car approaches. The bullies flee while Donnie and Gretchen lay on the ground recovering, and Roberta appears nearby wandering around. The car speeds towards them and it's driver notices Roberta seconds before running her over. The driver swerves to avoid hitting her, and runs over Gretchen, who is still on the floor, killing her. The car stops, and it's driver and passenger emerge, revealing the driver to be Frank. This Frank however, appears as a human, normal version of himself, instead of his paranormal, ominous, doom-predicting variant. He was simply going out to buy liquor for a party with his friend, the passenger, and wearing the rabbit suit as a halloween costume. Frank and his friend look in horror at what he's done. Donnie stands up and pulls out a gun, aiming it at Frank to his horror for a few seconds before shooting him through the eye. Frank falls to the ground, dead, and his friend runs in the opposite direction. Donnie then flees with Gretchen's corpse.
Frank is revealed to be a Manipulated Dead, who after being killed on October 31st, began traveling back in time as one of these entities and guiding Donnie on his journey to saving the universe starting on October 2nd.
Appearance and Personality
At the start of the film, and throughout most of it, Frank appears as a horrifying, nightmarish humanoid rabbit, with clear white eyes, massive twisted ears, and a top row of jagged teeth, with a bottom jaw but no teeth. Later in the film, whilst appearing to Donnie in a movie theatre, Donnie questions Frank about his appearance, asking "Why do you wear that stupid bunny suit?". Frank replies with "Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?". Donnie orders him to "take it off". Frank removes the rabbit mask, revealing that it is a costume and that Frank takes the form of a human beneath it. While not wearing the mask, Frank appears as a young male with black long hair, ear rings, and dark colored eyes, one of which has a bloody wound the eye on it. When Frank appears as his normal, living, human counterpart, he is simply wearing the rabbit suit as a halloween costume.
While appearing as a Manipulated Dead, Frank adopts a vague, mysterious, bizarre personality. He speaks in either an ominous whisper, or a distorted and demonic voice. Frank's demeanor and behavior is usually enigmatic, perhaps somewhat absurd. He often refuses to directly answer Donnie's questions, or disclose much information about his nature, origins, and that of the like. When he does answer questions or disclose information, it often in a secretive way, and provides very little of said information or answers. When Donnie sees Frank at his therapist's office, Frank twitches violently, often tilting his head upwards. Frank seems to act in a somewhat godlike or spiritual way, one could even say that his demeanor is similar to that of religious figures, such as angels, demons, or messengers. Frank appears to be very wise, and have knowledge of the future, the situation at hand, and some how ,Donnie himself...
As established beforehand, Frank is a human who died within the tangent universe and became a Manipulated Dead. However, Frank's persona while appearing as one of these entities is very peculiar, and raises many questions. The Manipulated Dead themselves are still a poorly understood aspect of the film, and one unanswered question is that of what exactly they are. It is difficult to determine whether they are the deceased person themselves, gifted with knowledge and understanding, or wether they are a higher power or supernatural being simply taking the appearance of the person. One can even theorize that they are a hybrid of both. When manifesting as a Manipulated Dead, some of the only information Frank gives as to his origins is given when Donnie asks him why his name is Frank, to which he replies "It is the name of my father, and his father before me.". This event raises more questions than it answers, and as little else information of Frank or the Manipulated Dead is given, it is ultimately left for each individual to interpret his origins.
"Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?"
"They are in great Danger"
"I can do anything i want to, and so can you."
"Burn it to the ground"
"Twenty-eight days, six hours, forty-two minutes, twelve seconds."
"Wake up, Donnie."