Shooting Donnie Darko’s intro director Richard Kelly choreographed with the intention of using INXS’s Never Tear Us Apart.

Due to budgetary reasons this isn’t the song used when the film was first released in cinemas. The song eventually used was The Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen.

When I first saw Donnie Darko at the cinema that intro is still one of my abiding memories of the film.

The film has a sort of “fuzzy” intro, with a static laden backing score, that then soon cuts to the opening bars of The Killing Moon with Donnie biking along, all other noises muted so the song is the soundtrack alone, as we journey off the hills into surburbia, almost tapping into a moment David Lynch could have filmed. And it all just works.

Last night I caught the director’s cut of Donnie Darko on Netflix. This version carries the originally planned INXS tune over the film’s intro. It has a different feel.

Here’s the thing: I think the original cinema version of the intro is better. The Echo and the Bunnymen tune is better, a better tune, a better fit for the opening scene, a better fit for the film overall. And it was used just because the film’s budget couldn’t stretch as far as using an INXS tune.

Business constraints, eh.

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