Warning: Spoilers ahead for Don’t Worry Darling. If you need Don’t Worry Darling‘s ending explained, this is the perfect place. As one of the most anticipated movies of the year, Don’t Worry Darling brings lots of suspense and twists to the table. The psychological thriller starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles takes place in the idyllic work-town of Victory where everything seems like it’s paradise—where the wives live a pleasurable lifestyle at home as a housewife while the husbands spend all day working for the mysterious Victory Project. Everything seems fine, but when Florence Pugh’s character Alice becomes suspicious of Victory’s intentions after the suicide of her friend Margaret (played by KiKi Layne), her perfect life unravels before her.
Don’t Worry Darling reaches a crescendo in the final 30 minutes of the film, during a tense dinner party scene between Alice and Victory’s head of the town Frank (played by Chris Pine). They celebrate her husband Jack’s (played by Harry Styles) promotion at the Victory Project, but Alice confronts Frank for manipulating the town into thinking that their reality is perfect and real. The argument at the dinner is stopped by Frank’s wife, Shelley (played by Gemma Chan), who furiously walks out after Alice accuses her husband of trapping them in Victory. Alice breaks down after the party and tells Jack her plans to leave Victory with him, but Jack turns in Alice to Victory’s security who takes her away to receive electro-shock therapy for “treatment.” During this treatment, we receive answers to how Victory came to be and how Jack and Alice ended up in the 1950s aesthetically pleasing desert town.
Read down below for the explanation of Don’t Worry Darling’s ending.
What happens in Don’t Worry Darling‘s ending? **Spoilers!
When she undergoes electro-shock therapy, Alice gets a glimpse of her life in the present-day real world. She’s a doctor who works long days at the hospital while her boyfriend Jack, who looks way less attractive in real life and recently lost his job, stays at home all day listening to a Men’s Rights Activist type of podcast by the real-life Frank. Jack gets upset at Alice for not being at home that much and not doing common chores like cooking, but Alice retaliates by affirming that she needs to work constantly for both of them to get by.
After that, we see that the electro-shock therapy seemed to work for Alice. Bunny (played by director Olivia Wilde) welcomes Alice back with open arms and gets her ready to become acclimated back to her “normal” life, but things are still rocky for Alice. When Jack comes home, she starts to lose herself, starts to get sick with emotions and has momentary flashbacks to her real-life self. Jack starts to sing lyrics to the song that she was humming throughout the whole movie (“With You All the Time”), and it fully takes her back to her real body.
Alice is actually hooked up to a machine that portrays a VR simulation Clockwork Orange style where she lies in a bed and her eyes are perpetually open. Jack cares for Alice by keeping her alive with little droplets of water before he joins her in the simulation. Through Frank’s manifestos, Jack signed him and Alice (without consent) for the Victory Project. When men leave for their work at the Victory Project, they actually leave the simulation so that they could work to fund their stay in the fake world of Victory. However, the women are trapped inside the simulation forever.
The discovery shakes Alice and she argues with Jack in the simulation about why he chose to put her in the simulation unwillingly. He claimed that she was working too much and was ultimately unhappy with her real-life self and Victory was the escape that would end all of that unhappiness. Alice defends herself by saying that she was happy in her own life as a doctor and that she chose that life. Jack tries to fight by trying to strangle her by squeezing her stomach tightly and Alice accidentally kills him by hitting his head with a glass.
Bunny then comes into their house amid the murder scene telling Alice to leave and run away to the real world before the men of Victor kill her. Bunny reveals that she knew about the simulation all along and chose to stay there because she could live a life with her children (who are presumed dead in the real world). Earlier in the film, Bunny gaslighted Alice for making suspicions about Victory and claimed that she was as crazy as Margaret who also was a Victory skeptic. Bunny also tells Alice that men who die in the simulation also die in the real world (for some reason, women don’t die in the real world when they’re in the simulation).
Alice walks out of the house with a bloody dress when every man interrogates her about where Jack was. Alice tries to run away and all the wives finally come clear to the realization that they were in the simulation made to trap and control them. A car chase ensues and Alice tries to make it back to the real world through Victory Headquarters. However, Victory’s security team and Dr. Collins (played by Timothy Simons) seem to catch up to her when all of a sudden, she causes a crash against her foes. The security team at Victory calls Frank to tell him that she escaped and he increasingly becomes full of rage. Before he could do anything, Shelley stabs him, calls him a “stupid, stupid man” and tells him that it’s her “turn.” It’s unclear when she knew about the information about Victory or her actual intentions but it became super clear that this was her final straw.
Alice tries to climb up the mountain when her car refuses to work and more of the security team henchmen try to chase her. At the last possible moment, Alice approaches the headquarters. But before that, she remembers the fond memory of Jack when they lay in bed together and promise that they would always be together. Jack says to her, “don’t leave me.” She runs towards the headquarters and the scene cuts to black. Before the credits roll, we hear Alice breathing heavily which confirms that she’s back in the real world. What happens after is up to the audience’s interpretation, but at least Alice has total autonomy over herself again.
Don’t Worry Darling is in cinemas now. It’ll be available to stream on HBO Max on November 7.