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

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As a child, I spent my time watching “The Twilight Zone”. The eerie dialogue, excellent cinematography, and unforgettable stories left me wanting more. Since then, I have been fascinated by the black and the depraved. The corners of the human imagination that others would avoid, I dove headfirst into.

It is with this ambition that I watch all horror films, good and bad. Good horror movies give me goosebumps, and bad ones tend to make me laugh – but I enjoy them all. However, having said that, “Don’t Worry Darling”, directed by Olivia Wilde, just pissed me off.

From the trailer, I was hoping for a story similar to “The Twilight Zone” tales of my youth. “Don’t Worry Darling” certainly starts out that way. The story follows a married couple living in an isolated community in the desert, perpetually stuck in what seems to be the 1950s. But as the wife grows increasingly suspicious of the city, her friends and even her husband turn against her. It’s up to her to uncover the mysterious origin of the city and escape with her sanity.

Unfortunately, the film loses all the momentum it built up in the first half and gives us a lackluster and confusing ending. The same goes for the cinematography, which can be decent at times, but ultimately does nothing more than the bare minimum. The editing is loud and obnoxious and works to put you in your face.

Several sequences left me dizzy and disoriented. The same can be said about the pacing of this film. It’s slow, long and boring in the wrong places. The beginning of the story seems to run way too fast, almost like a short film.

However, once halfway through, the film finally finds the need to slow down. When it does, however, it becomes painfully slow to the point where you just want it to end. Three-quarters of the way, I planned to leave the theater.

I went into this movie knowing it was rated R, but felt there were too many gratuitous sex scenes that were too long. At the third scene, I looked away from the screen.

The only good thing I can say about this movie is the sound design. It manages to stir up fear and anxiety at all the right times, with plenty of little sounds that I found to get my heart rate up.

The acting is also decent and many actors deliver compelling performances. It’s just a shame they couldn’t be put to better use.

Really, what really hurts about “Don’t Worry Darling” is the wasted 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 mediocre story with underdeveloped characters and unfulfilled potential. I would give this two goats out of five and would not recommend it.

Claire Lawrence / Views of the Hills
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