Psychological Thriller DON’T WORRY DARLING is a Stylish Utopian Nightmare Releasing this Fall

The countdown begins as we eagerly await the theatrical release of Don’t Worry Darling.

Florence Pugh as Alice in DON'T WORRY DARLING, a new psychological thriller from director Olivia Wilde.
Courtesy of New Line Cinema and Vertigo Entertainment

At CinemaCon last April a film trailer premiere left its audience in spine-tingling anticipation for the film’s release. Don’t Worry Darling is the upcoming psychological thriller film directed by Olivia Wilde. The screenplay was written by Katie Silberman and based on a story by Carey van Dyke, and Shane Van Dyke. Produced by New Line Cinema and Vertigo Entertainment, the film stars Florence Pugh and Harry Styles as an idyllic 1950s couple living in the Victory Project.

Alice (Pugh) and Jack (Styles) in a seemingly happy marriage in their 1950s suburban neighborhood. After a night of partying with neighbors, the two exchange a loving phrase, “You and me.” CEO, Frank (Chris Pine) is the stern leader of the Victory Project. The utopian experimental community is their all-encompassing world. Its mission statement is “we’re changing the world.” Alice begins to question her reality as cracks in her seemingly perfect life and their community begin to appear. She beings to spiral as she desperately attempts to discover the truth and convince her neighbors that something isn’t right. She confides in her friend, Bunny (Wilde), “They’re lying about everything.”

Filmed in Los Angeles, California, the official trailer highlights breathtaking cinematography from Matthew Libatique. The film’s color palette is bright and fluorescent, reminiscent of the daylight horror of Midsommar (2019), another folk horror film starring Pugh. She can also be heard on the film’s soundtrack performing “Don’t Worry Darling”. As Alice uncovers the secrets of the glamorous company in the trailer, she says, “Everyone is acting like I’m crazy, and I’m not crazy. I don’t trust him and I don’t want to be here, anymore.” It’s hard not to compare and contrast that sentiment and the plot to that of Bryan Forbes psychological horror film The Stepford Wives (1975) based on the Ira Levin novel of the same name. It follows a woman who relocates with her husband and children from New York City to the Connecticut community of Stepford, where she comes to find the women who live unwaveringly subservient lives to their husbands.

Wilde appeared onstage at CinemaCon to give a little insight into the film by saying, “Inception, The Matrix, Truman Show. It’s my love letter to the movies that pushed the boundaries of ambition.” She also asked the audience to “Imagine a life where you could have anything you ever wanted, not just the tangible things…but also the things that really matter—true love with the perfect partner, real trusted friendships. What would it take for you to give up that perfect life? What are you willing to sacrifice to do what’s right? Are you willing to dismantle the system that is designed to serve you?”

Don’t Worry Darling premieres theatrically in the United States on September 23, 2022.