4K UHD Review: Don’t Worry Darling
Movie title: Don’t Worry Darling (2022)
Director(s): Olivia Wilde
Actor(s): Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Chris Pine, Olivia Wilde, KiKi Layne, Gemma Chan
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Don’t Worry Darling has to be among the best-looking films of the year. Victory, the fictional desert oasis the film takes place in, is an eye popping 1950’s America inspired suburb. Everything is so bright and perfect, I wished I could jump into the screen and explore. Unfortunately, Olivia Wilde’s sophomore directorial effort is not nearly as interesting as it should be, given its premise.
Alice (Florence Pugh) and Jack Chambers (Harry Styles) are a happy couple, living a picture-perfect life. Jack works on a secret project for his boss Frank (Chris Pine). As with the other wives in Victory, Alice spends her days taking care of the house and making sure a cocktail and a meal are ready for Jack when he gets home. Cracks begin to appear in their idyllic life when Alice is haunted by troubling visions. She begins questioning the reality of the world in which she lives. Since questions are discouraged in Victory, this puts her in the crossfire of some dangerous forces.
Despite obvious messaging about gender politics, it seems as if Don’t Worry Darling wants to say something profound but comes up short. The illusions to several other thrillers and science fiction films are obvious. If you don’t think of The Stepford Wives within the first ten minutes or so, you’ve probably never seen it. The twist near the end of Don’t Worry Darling is easily guessed and covers no new ground. Written by Carey Van Dyke, Shane Van Dyke and Katie Silberman, there are some ridiculous moments and a plot hole or two that could only be fixed with a complete rewrite.
That’s not to say there’s nothing good here. Central to the film, Florence Pugh and Chris Pine deliver excellent performances, despite occasionally underdeveloped characterizations. The cinematography by Oscar nominee Matthew Libatique and the set design are a gorgeous highlight. Despite flaws in the story, Olivia Wilde continues to show a good eye behind the camera. Despite apparent issues behind the scenes with her actors, I’m still interested in her development as a director.
Given its director and cast, I had hoped for much more from Don’t Worry Darling. Colorful but forgettable, what could have been an original idea, instead hints at previously released films and never develops an obvious purpose. As a result, I would suggest a rental first, before deciding whether to add it to your permanent collection.
Presented in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio, Don’t Worry Darling shines on 4K. Even the finest of details are showcased. Sharp and vibrant throughout, the image bursts forth with color. Every color pops. Depth is impressive and movement is fluid, no matter the type of movement. Black levels are deep and inky. HDR serves to make colors look like a living, breathing element of the film. Skin tones look natural and realistic throughout. A visual treat Don’t Worry Darling is everything you would expect from the 4K format.
The Dolby Atmos track matches the excellence of the visuals. Well mixed, the track utilizes the entire soundfield, with a solid balance between vocals, effects and music. The subwoofer is a highlight for this track, making your room feel like you’re a central part of the action. Dialogue is clean, clear and concise throughout.
English SDH, French, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish subtitles are included.
Along with a Blu-ray of the film and a redeemable digital code, the following special features are available:
- The Making of Don’t Worry Darling (HD, 17:12) A typical EPK.
- Alice’s Nightmare Deleted Scene (HD, :54)