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‘Don’t Worry Darling’: Chris Pine, Florence Pugh & Harry Styles star in mind-bending horror film

Director Olivia Wilde deconstructs the idealism of 1950s American culture.

By Josh Weiss
(L-r) HARRY STYLES as Jack and FLORENCE PUGH as Alice in “DON’T WORRY DARLING” (2022).

Actress/filmmaker Olivia Wilde seeks to deconstruct the alleged idealism of 1950s American culture with some deeply terrifying horror concepts in her second directorial effort — Don't Worry Darling

The wholesome, Leave it to Beaver-style family values have been tossed out the window and replaced with steamy adult situations and a something-isn't-quite-what-it-seems premise redolent of a classic Twilight Zone episode. The first trailer for the upcoming movie (out in theaters this September) teases a high-concept, Jordan Peele-esque mixture of horror, science fiction, mystery, and psychological thriller that has a lot more on its mind than just scaring the audience. 

Florence Pugh (Black Widow) and Harry Styles (Dunkirk) lead the A-list ensemble cast as Alice and Jack, a married couple living in the idyllic desert development known as Victory. Alice plays the role of the good housewife, while Jack and the other husbands in the community work on the top-secret "Victory Project" spearheaded by CEO Frank (Wonder Woman 1984's Chris Pine). 

Everyone's needs are met, so long as they show unwavering support for the cause and don't ask any probing questions. The facade of a perfect life starts to crack when Alice realizes there's something incredibly sinister at play. Her subsequent investigation into the matter reveals that this purported utopia may, in fact, be a dystopia. She's alone in this dangerous venture, however, with everyone — especially the men — trying to convince Alice she's losing her grip on reality.

Check out the trailer below:

Wilde, Gemma Chan (Eternals), KiKi Layne (The Old Guard), Nick Kroll (Big Mouth), Sydney Chandler (Pistol), Kate Berlant (Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood), Asif Ali (WandaVision), Douglas Smith (Big Little Lies), Timothy Simons (Veep) and Ari’el Stachel (Respect the Jux) round out the supporting players.

“The 1950s get this rap as a very controlled, conservative era, when in fact it was incredibly debaucherous. My grandparents on my mother’s side loved to party,” Wilde — who was inspired by classic titles like Indecent Proposal and Fatal Attraction — explained to Vogue last year. The director added that the crux of the project deals with questions of: "What are you willing to sacrifice in order to do what’s right? If you really think about it, are you willing to blow up the system that serves you?"

Katie Silberman (Booksmart) penned the screenplay, based off a story conceived alongside Carey Van Dyke & Shane Van Dyke (Chernobyl Diaries). Silberman also serves as a producer with Wilde, Miri Yoon, and Roy Lee. Richard Brener, Celia Khong, Alex G. Scott, Catherine Hardwicke, Carey Van Dyke, and Shane Van Dyke are executive producers.

Don't Worry Darling hits the big screen Friday, Sep. 23.

Other upcoming horror films include Firestarter in theaters and streaming on Peacock on May 13, The Black Phone in theaters on June 24 and Jordan Peele's NOPE in theaters July 22.