Skip the drama. Why Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling” is a thrilling film to add to your Halloween movie watchlist

Don’t Worry Darling is much more than it’s infamous off screen drama


Courtesy of Warner Bros

Harry Styles and Florence Pugh as Jack and Alice Chambers in “Don’t Worry Darling”

Official’ “Don’t Worry Darling” poster displayed at the Century Daly City 20 XD and IMAX movie theater (Danielle Cosino)

There has been a lot of attention surrounding the horror/thriller movie “Don’t Worry Darling” ever since its announcement in 2020. With the success of her first directorial film, “Booksmart,” everyone was excited to see the turnout of Olivia Wilde’s second film. Likewise, excitement arose around the film’s cast, which includes big names like Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Chris Pine, and Gemma Chan. Florence Pugh even expressed her enthusiasm for working with Wilde in a now-deleted Instagram post.

But between the film’s announcement in 2020 to its debut in Sept. 2022, it is clear that the attention around the film has shifted.

If you keep track of all things pop culture, then you may have heard about the drama circling “Don’t Worry, Darling.” Unfortunately, from the feud between Shia LaBeouf, Florence Pugh, and Olivia Wilde, to Harry Styles and Chris Pine’s Spitgate, it may discourage many people from seeing the film itself.

Actor and director of the film, Olivia Wilde, discusses with late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert the challenges and obstacles along with the passion that went into creating the film, which was produced during the pandemic.

“After working for three years on something like this, it must be particularly frustrating to have people talking about a lot of things that aren’t the film itself,” says Colbert to Wilde.

If you are a fan of psychological horror/thrillers or are looking for a thriller film to watch this Halloween, then I have concluded that you shouldn’t let the drama get in the way of watching “Don’t Worry, Darling.” Be mindful when continuing to read, as this review contains some spoilers.


The film takes place during the 1950s in an experimental utopian community called Victory. It follows the life of a young married couple, Jack and Alice Chambers. Jack and the other men of Victory work for a company that is in charge of a classified project called the Victory Project. As the husbands go to work, the wives stay at home and live a worry-free life: they take care of the house, go on trolley-joyrides, take ballet lessons, gossip and shop. In return for this ideal life, the one thing that is asked of the wives is to not ask any questions about the project.

While the wives of Victory carry out their domestic roles and live out their perfect lives, Alice becomes suspicious of her husband and the company’s intentions for Victory, realizing that there may be some dark and disturbing secrets to their idyllic life.

The visuals of the film immediately suck you into this almost-too-perfect community. The environment of Victory is very crisp and clean, which can be seen based on how the characters dress and their lack-of-a-mess homes.

As we follow Alice through her daily routine, it is evident that there is a strong theme of symmetry and uniformity. Additionally, the heavy emphasis on routine makes it clear that order and control are elements that Victory functions around.

Florence Pugh’s amazing performance keeps the audience engaged and helps us follow her character’s journey as she experiences visions and hallucinations that slowly unveil the truth.

Additionally, Harry Styles’ performance in the film will take you by surprise, given that an early-released clip of the singer had the internet mocking his acting, especially his accent. However, after witnessing the film’s mind-blowing plot twist, the accent makes perfect sense in addition to how Styles’ portrays his character overall.

There are multiple instances where humor is incorporated via a character’s quick-wit comments. The film’s occasional use of humor reminds the audience that Victory is a secure and loving neighborhood, even though our protagonist, Alice, is spiraling down a dark rabbit hole of secrets.

The soundtrack and score have a great balance between bliss and chaos that immerses the audience into the cinematic world of Victory and further depicts the sharp contrast between Victory’s idyllic lifestyle and its dark reality. The soundtrack is composed of songs inspired by the sounds of the 1950s, which show the contentedness of Jack, Alice, and the rest of the residents of Victory, while the score builds onto the suspense and tension of Alice’s internal and external battles.

One sound that stood out to me was the rapid and panicked breathing of multiple women during certain scenes which gets louder and more intense as the plot progresses. It helps the viewers empathize with Alice as she goes on a suspenseful emotional rollercoaster since the unstable breathing allows the audience to experience that unsettling and anxious emotion themselves.

The film also does a great job of making you feel uneasy and on edge through its unusual pacing.

It doesn’t take long for the film to hint that everything is not what it seems; however, the revealing of those hints is quite unpredictable, which makes it very compelling. When you think we have reached the film’s climax, a new detail is introduced, which makes you realize that the plot is still thickening. The outcome of this pacing is displayed at the end as the film rushes to uncover more secrets about Victory.

While you may think you understood every detail about Victory and pieced everything together by the end of the film, you realize that you are left with so many questions about Victory and its other residents that it will have you begging for more.

“Don’t Worry Darling” is a stark contrast from her first film, the coming-of-age comedy “Booksmart”; however, Olivia Wilde did a fantastic job taking on the horror/thriller genre. This visually-pleasing psychological thriller will definitely keep you on your toes and is a spooky season must-watch.