Don’t Worry Darling Ending, Explained


Don’t Worry Darling is Olivia Wilde’s second film and is her follow-up to her breakout directorial debut Booksmart. Given how well-liked her first film was, people were eagerly awaiting Don’t Worry Darling. This becomes deadly true once the trailer drops, as the film seems like an interesting deviation from Wilde’s first film. The controversy surrounding the film, for better or for worse, helped build hype for the film as more and more people started talking about Don’t Worry Darling.

Don’t Worry Darling follows the story of a seemingly ordinary housewife named Alice (Florence Pugh) and her husband Jack (Harry Styles) as they live their life in a desert company town managed by the Victory company. Every day, the men of the town leave for Victory Headquarters while their wives patiently await their return. Right off the bat, it’s easy to see that something is clearly not right here. And the more the film reveals, the closer audiences get to the truth as to what’s really going on in the movie.

Given how convoluted things can get, we understand if some of you walked away pretty confused after seeing the film. To help you out, here’s a thorough explanation of the ending of Don’t Worry Darling.

What’s Actually Going on in the Town?

Chris Pine in Don't Worry Darling
Warner Bros. Pictures

To truly know what’s going on in the town, it’s important to understand what Victory is. Luckily, we don’t have to guess as the company’s esteemed leader Frank isn’t mum about the company’s true intentions.

During the celebration of a couple’s new arrival, Frank addresses the townspeople. Frank highlights the importance of Victory by saying what they’ve built here is special and is better than the outside world. Instead of succumbing to the safety of the status quo, the people of Victory simply don’t settle for how things are and strive for how things should be. While this all may seem rather vague, the goals of Victory will make more sense once the truth behind the town is revealed.

The film eventually divulges the secret behind the town and Victory. The Victory Project is actually a secret program that men sign up for wherein they abduct women and force them to be their wives in a simulated world. This is the main reason why the film is often compared to The Matrix.

Related: Don’t Worry Darling Review: Olivia Wilde’s Sophomore Slump Thriller

Women effectively lose free will within the simulation and play the role of devoted housewives to their perfect husbands. In the real world, Jack keeps Alice’s physical body alive. While she’s strapped into the machine and inside the simulation, Alice seemingly has no control over her body and is kept alive by a combination of different medical devices.

It’s revealed that Jack and Alice are actually married in real life. And while things started off great, problems started to bubble to the surface when Jack lost his job. Riddled with financial problems and close to losing their home, the couple’s relationship becomes severely strained. Instead of coming up with an actual solution, Jack opts to try out the Victory Project. Jack drugs his wife and sets up the machine that traps Alice in the simulation.

Essentially, the Victory program allows men to go back to a world that’s similar to 1950s America in both aesthetics and values. In this world, the patriarchy is in full swing as their chosen “wives” are programmed to love and serve them.

Does Alice Get Away?

Florence Pugh as Alice in Don't Worry Darling
Warner Bros. Pictures

Alice’s memories come rushing back to her after hearing Jack sing a song that they used to listen to in the real world. This leads to a confrontation between the two as Alice is now fully aware of what her husband did to her. The couple fight and Alice ends up mortally wounding Jack.

Bunny discovers the two and Alice explains the situation to her. Bunny reveals that she’s always known and that she’s in here willingly as the virtual world allows her to be with her kids. She also explains that Alice has also pretty much killed Jack since dying in the simulation means you also die in real life.

Bunny tells Alice she has to go to the Victory Headquarters, so she can get back out to the real world and escape before anyone else finds her body. Alice runs to the car and heads straight for Victory Headquarters. Frank is alerted of this and is about to order his men to stop Alice. Before this can happen, Frank’s wife Shelly kills him.

Related: 10 TV Shows and Movies to Watch if You Loved Don’t Worry Darling

With Victory in disarray, Alice makes it to Victory Headquarters with no problems. She approaches the entrance and the screen fades to black. We hear her gasp. The movie ends.

One of the most common questions that people have about this movie is about whether or not Alice survives. Now, it’s not confirmed whether Alice managed to wake up and get away or not. At the end of the day, it’s all up to the audience’s interpretation.

Why Does Shelley Stab Frank?

Gemma Chan in Don't Worry Darling
Warner Bros. Pictures

Another thing that viewers are perplexed with is why Shelley kills Frank. Shelley never really shows signs of being unhappy about what’s going on. However, Shelley may have just been patiently waiting for an opportunity to get back at Frank.

Now, there may be a more nefarious reason for Shelley’s betrayal. Shelly may have grown tired of being Frank’s pawn and wanted to take control of the Victory Project. By biding her time and waiting for the right time to strike, Shelley has effectively gotten rid of the Victory Project’s leader and now has total control of it.

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