Tucked in her copy of the book, Samantha has a picture Donnie drew that is a rather frightening image of Frank’s ghost in the rabbit suit from the first film. It becomes important in the story, because her ghost has Jack make a metal version of the mask as a helmet and use it somehow in the process of changing the past. The image is explained simply as “Donnie liked to draw,” but that explanation fails, as careful consideration of events will show.
To recap briefly the original story, there was an original history in which events in Donnie’s life brought him to the point where he shot and killed Frank, who was wearing a rabbit costume for Halloween. The next morning a temporal vortex happened to rip an engine off a jet and toss it back about a month, where it was headed directly toward Donnie’s bedroom–but the rabbit-suited ghost of Frank reached the room first and led Donnie away to the golf course, so he survived. That led to what was a bad month, culminating again in Donnie shooting Frank and the vortex taking the jet engine (this time killing Samantha and Mrs. Darko, who were aboard it)–but Donnie this time sent a message telepathically to himself, getting himself to ignore Frank and stay in bed, and so was killed by the jet engine. That created yet another history, in which many of those terrible things did not happen (including that Samantha was not killed on that jet), Frank did not get shot, and so the ghost of Frank did not travel back to tell Donnie to leave his room and history stabilizes as Donnie dies in bed.
When did Donnie draw the picture of Frank Samantha has tucked in her book?
In what we take to be the only history of the world that exists after all changes have resolved, Frank was never shot, and never came to Donnie as a ghost; and thus the Donnie who died in bed that morning, the only Donnie who ever lived in a history that has not been erased, never saw him and could not have drawn his picture.
Further, that Donnie did not receive any message from the future, because there was no version of himself in the future to send it; thus he cannot have received the distorted image of the rabbit from his future self.
Even were we to assume arguendo that Donnie, lying in bed moments before the engine killed him, had some vision of Frank in the rabbit suit–Frank who will not be shot and thus will not have a rabbit-suited ghost, who will not travel to the past to appear in Donnie’s room–Donnie would have had to have leapt out of the bed, grabbed paper and pencil, and sketched furiously for the few seconds of life remaining to him. Then somehow in the devastation that killed him and destroyed his room, that sketch must have survived. Yet we know that in his last moments he lay in bed, and died without having left the sheets.
There can be no picture. Even another time travel event would have trouble bringing an image from a history that has been undone and so never was. No picture means Samantha knows nothing of the rabbit image, and does not pass the information to Jack. A significant part of the weirdness of the film has been undone because of something that could not have happened before the beginning of the movie.
It does not, however, impact the time travel elements within the movie; it only means that we have to exclude the nonsense about the rabbit mask.