A nightmarish American dream: trailer and release date for Don’t Worry Darling

Florence Pugh has a lot of cause to worry in the first full trailer for Don’t Worry Darling, an atomic-age suburban nightmare borrowing heavily from The Stepford Wives. In the constructed desert town of Victory, Pugh’s housewife Alice begins to put together that her romance with sexy husband Jack (Harry Styles) might be a sham, and that the men leading the town have sinister means of making their American Dream come true.

Another collaboration between Booksmart director Olivia Wilde and screenwriter Katie Silberman, Don’t Worry Darling arrives in UK cinemas on September 23. It’s flaunting a killer young cast, some surreal and stylish visuals, and of course enough Styles for all the 1D fangirls holding on out there.

It seems that Pugh and Styles’ “chaos”-driven lust for one another is causing tension in the picture-perfect town, and leader Chris Pine doesn’t like that at all. “Jack and Alice only have time for each other”, Wilde purrs, starring in her own film as one of the obsessive homemakers. “The one thing they ask of us is to stay here. Where it’s safe.”

The trailer uses breath and asphyxiation as a recurring visual and auditory motif, hyperventilating sounding louder and louder as we see Pugh sink into a pool, or wrap her face in plastic. “It’s all about control!”, Pugh realises, hopefully not before it’s too late for her to nyoom out of town in a nice winged sedan.

The patronising tone of the title and Pine’s creepy aim to tame Pugh, with the help of other husbands Styles and Nick Kroll, suggests that the men of the town can program or brainwash their wives, leading to a very Stepford scene of Kiki Layne glitching out and smashing her head into a mirror.

It all looks like a far more ambitious and genre-based step up from Booksmart, which was a mostly conventional entry into the raunchy teen last-day-of-high-school comedy canon. Let’s hope that Don’t Worry Darling manages to impart some new ideas and scares, into a setting where every ticket-buying audience member already knows that things won’t be so idyllic below the surface of Victory.