Olivia Wilde’s don’t worry darling is a film that doesn’t hide the fact that it features some sort of major twist. Mainly because you can’t do that. The bucolic, utopian, 1950s American dream aesthetic and vibe instantly inspires paranoia that there is a great darkness lurking beneath everything, and the film skips sharply from Is It All As It Looks? increase. “What’s really going on here?” Audiences are ahead of Florence Pugh’s protagonist from the start. We know she’s in some trouble, but her first act starts right up when she catches up.
Unfortunately, that’s after this table setting. don’t worry darling get lost. The opening tightens you up on escalating horror and expanding mystery, but the whole thing de-escalates very quickly. Unless the stakes are raised or new details come to light to make sense of what’s really going on, instead of gaining narrative momentum, play with dumps of symbolism, macabre imagery, and candid exposition. It gets messy in the middle of the movie because it’s on. By the time it nears Act Three and the big secret is fully revealed, all that really remains is to affirm your most obvious predictions, how certain things will work, and why certain choices. All I can do is nod indignantly, as I wondered why this was done.