“Don’t Worry Darling” review: Striking with inconsistencies


Don’t Worry Darling movie poster. Photo credits to Mount Vic Flicks.

Melanie Garduno, Staff Writer

Don’t Worry Darling, a psychological thriller film, was released in theaters on September 23, starring Harry Styles and Florence Pugh playing the two main leads as Jack and Alice. The movie takes place in the 1950s in an experimental company town called Victory that houses the men who work on a top-secret project while their wives get to enjoy the luxury of their “perfect” home, looking after their children, maintaining their home, and cooking. The women are not supposed to ask questions about their husbands’ work, and are told to follow only one rule, which is not to venture out to Headquarters due to the “dangerous materials”the company works with. But despite this blissful town, there is something disturbingly sinister behind it all. 

Alice is seemingly happy there, but she soon starts to realize that this town may not be everything that it says it is after she experiences bizarre hallucinations after wandering into the desert, accidentally running into Headquarters. The audience watches as others gaslight Alice after she opens up about her worsening hallucinations. 

At a celebratory dinner, Alice attempts to expose Frank, who is in control of Victory, and the inconsistencies in Victory. After the uncomfortable dinner ended, Alice is taken away and undergoes electroshock therapy, during the procedure, Alice sees visions of herself in another life.

As Alice resumes her normal life, she continues to have hallucinations and flashbacks, and soon remembers the whole truth: Victory is a simulated world, and Jack has forced her into the simulation. When Jack realizes she knows the truth, he claims he did this for her and Alice kills him in self-defense, killing Jack in the real world as well. Alice makes it to Victory Headquarters, escaping the simulation and coming back to real life. 

Though this film constantly leaves viewers guessing and questioning reality, there are many things that have no explanation and leave the audience looking for answers. For example, there is no background as to why Frank created Victory despite knowing that he is the creator, which makes his character lack motivation for this project and takes away from the story. 

Another example of the movie lacking solid character motivation and characterization is when Alice is attempting to escape Victory and Frank is listening to updates of the chase, but he is stabbed by his wife, Shelley who tells him, “It’s my turn now.” Out of nowhere, Shelley attempts to seize control of the simulated town. This scene was very confusing given the fact that her character was never portrayed as an antagonist or someone who craved power, but was rather portrayed as a loyal and trusting wife, which made this plot twist weaker as it had little to no foreshadowing. Shelley was previously portrayed as being content with the status that being Frank’s wife had given her, and this shift was unfortunately jarring.

Florence Pugh’s performance as Alice was phenomenal, she definitely made the audience feel all of the emotions that her character felt, making her hallucinations feel realistic to the viewer. Unlike other characters, Jack for example, who only seems to go from happy to enraged almost as if he has an on and off switch at times, whereas Alice depicts every emotion she is feeling, making her character more fluid and interesting, which makes the audience more hooked and invested. 

The movie could have incorporated more details, and storylines to help the audience understand better and not leave them searching for answers. If the film touched more on the upbringing of Frank and why he created Victory, the audience would have understood his character and the plot of the film better. Overall, this movie is watch worthy and leaves the audience confused, shocked, and eagerly guessing what will happen next.