REVIEW: ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ disappoints thriller genre


Keria Lee / Hilltop Views

“Don’t Worry Darling” features pop star Harry Styles and A-list actress Florence Pugh and had a box office debut of $19.2 million.

I spent my time watching “The Twilight Zone” as a child. The eerie dialogue , excellent cinematography and unforgettable stories left me hungry for more. Ever since then, I’ve been fascinated by the dark and depraved. The corners of the human imagination that others would steer away from, I dived into head first.

 It is with that ambition that I watch all horror movies, good and bad. The good horror movies make my skin crawl, and the bad ones tend to make me laugh — but I enjoy them all. However,  with that said, “Don’t Worry Darling,” directed by Olivia Wilde, just made me angry.

Based on the trailer, I was hoping for a story similar to “The Twilight Zone” tales of my youth. “Don’t Worry Darling” certainly starts off that way. The story follows a married couple living in a secluded community in the desert perpetually stuck in what seems to be the 1950s. But as the wife gets more and more suspicious about the town, her friends and even her husband turn on her. It is up to her to uncover the mysterious origin of the town and escape with her sanity. 

Unfortunately, the film loses all the momentum it built up in the first half and gives us a confusing lackluster ending. The same goes for the cinematography, which at times could be decent, but ultimately fails to do anything more than the bare minimum. The editing is loud and obnoxious and works to get in your face.  

Multiple sequences left me dizzy and disoriented. The same thing can be said about the pacing of this movie. It is slow, long and boring at all the wrong places. The beginning of the story seems to race far too quickly, almost  like a short film. 

However, once it reaches its halfway point, the movie finally finds the need to slow down. When it does, though, it becomes painfully slow to the point where you just want it to end. Three quarters of the way through, I was considering walking out of the theater. 

 I came into this movie knowing it was R-rated, but felt there were too many gratuitous sex scenes that go on for too long. By the third scene, I was turning my eyes away from the screen. 

The only good thing I can say about this film is the sound design. It does manage to spark fear and anxiety at all the right moments, with many little sounds I found increasing my heart rate.  

The acting is also okay, and many of the cast deliver convincing performances. It’s just sad that they couldn’t be put to better use.  

Truly what really hurts about “Don’t Worry Darling” is the waste of potential. A very decent concept of a town trapped in the 50s with interesting themes of relationship abuse, gaslighting and misogyny was wasted. It feels like it should have been a throwback to the classic psychological thrillers of Alfred Hitchcock and “The Twilight Zone,” but it fails and instead presents a middling story with underdeveloped characters and unfulfilled potential. I would give this two out of five goats and would not recommend it.

Claire Lawrence / Hilltop Views