“Don’t Worry Darling” lives up to dramatic reputation

While the direction of this film comes prepackaged with drama-formed opinions, it still proves incredibly beautiful with playful colors, eerie framing and rich imagery.


Courtesy of IGN.

Julia Rush, Arts & Entertainment Editor

The ever-so-controversial movie “Don’t Worry Darling” officially hit theaters this week and has proved on par with the juiciness of the drama surrounding its production. The trippy psychological horror film serves serious social discomfort through intense acting performances, disturbing imagery, and a soundscape fit for the pits of hell. 

The film begins with a seemingly blissful young couple, Alice and Jack, who live in a 1950s-esque white picket fence community. Alice soon becomes this story’s stereotypical gaslit heroine, discovering her husband’s job is not what the women in this gated community are all tricked into believing it is. 

The story then takes bounding leaps towards the edge of insanity as Alice falls deeper into the town’s numerous conspiracies, alluding to the theory that they are living in a fully fabricated world. Tensions between Alice and the cult-like leader of this community Frank, played by Chris Pine, come to a distressing head at Jack and Alice’s dinner party, leaving characters and the audiences silently stunned.  

Florence Pugh, who stars as Alice, shines in this movie, proving her chops as a horror actor. The audience gets drawn into her reality and feels her utter desperation through her exhaustive portrayal of the tragic character. 

Reminiscent of her performance in the 2019 film “Midsommar,” the actress brings a deeply emotional, disturbing edge to Alice, through her impassioned characterization of what it feels like to be led to discover your world is solely built off elaborate, entrapping lies. 

Newly minted starring actor Harry Styles has a tough act to follow, but keeps pace, showing grace, and stamina. That being said, it felt hard to disassociate this character with the much-adored character of Harry Styles known on stage on almost any given night at Madison Square Garden.

As the film reaches its final destination, horrified viewers discover, alongside Alice, that Jack has joined an experimental virtual reality in which his wife is tricked into believing she is a happy unemployed housewife. In actuality, they are both checked into an alternate reality of sorts and their physical bodies are in a trance in the real world. 

The soundscape for this film seems like it would be most effective in a serious movie theater, so every little bass thump and tinny scrape can be physically felt in the viewers’ bones. Even sounds as seemingly simple as empty eggs cracking grate against filmgoers’ spines and work at upping the sickly suspense of the film. 

While the direction of this film comes prepackaged with drama-formed opinions, it still proves incredibly beautiful with playful colors, eerie framing, and rich imagery. Costuming and set work give the film a convincing period theme and the saturation of colors gives an almost Technicolor feel. 

While some casual movie-goers, Harry Styles fans, and horror movie buffs may feel inclined to skip this film based on the swathes of production drama, they should consider giving it a try.