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The Review: ‘Don’t Worry Darling’, well I’m Worried

Alana Matthew | 101 Magazine   Promotion poster as displayed in the Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn, NY.  Courtesy of Alana Matthew.

*Warning: This article contains spoilers, continue reading at your own discretion*

For most of September, Olivia Wilde’s new movie, “Don’t Worry Darling” has caused good ole Hollywood drama to make a major comeback. It’s been a while since consumers of film have had a body of work to evoke this level of controversy, outrage and discourse; but, the question is does the movie match all this garnered attention? Well, the answer is yes.

As released on Sept. 23, “Don’t Worry Darling” explores the mind of the film’s female protagonist, Alice Chambers, as portrayed by Florence Pugh, who begins to unpack a misleadingly perfect husband, Jack, as portrayed by Harry Styles.

The film is set in a 1950s sort of desert town Victory, that’s far more diverse than anticipated, and everything is seemingly perfect. The landscape includes housewives, dutiful working husbands with careers, and gorgeous close-knit mid century houses. Alice’s life is just how you’d expect it to be, until it isn’t.

The movie attempts to comment on the duality of the suburbs, the dangers of tech and challenging reality. And they succeed. This R-rated horror film has a chilling feel from the very beginning, but only worries the audience more as the plot progresses. Margaret, one of the other housewives in this community, portrayed by Kiki Layne, is the first to crack. She succumbs to nightmares, hallucinations and paranoia as she starts to realize this community isn’t what it’s promised to be. 

Alice, Bunny (Olivia Wilde), and all the other housewives she was once close friends with abandoned her, called her insane and shut her out as she began to discover the truth piece by piece. Alice is weary of Margaret’s behavior, yet cautiously aware of the fact she may not be lying.

Wilde’s masterpiece offers a delicious twist to a familiar tale. Without spoiling too much of the movie, the ending is nothing you could guess or suspect. And whoever did that to Harry Styles, jail. 

The performances of Pugh and Styles were also notable. Pugh, as expected, carried this movie on her back. Styles brought an unexpected tightness to Jack and Chris Pine as Frank was absolutely terrifying. 

But what really made the film pop was the production, cinematography, and set design. Each shot did not miss a beat, from the encapsulating wide and mid shots to the terrifying closeups of eggs and bacon.

The beauty of horror movies in this arena is they aren’t outrightly scary. No one’s chasing you with a knife, no white girls making the worst decisions possible (kinda), but just reality bringing out what  we fear most.

Wilde’s film prompts audiences to always think critically and be aware of even the most trusted surroundings and individuals. Because who knows, you could one day be the darling told not to worry. But please do.

Alana Matthew

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