Film Review: A CURE FOR WELLNESS (2016)

A CURE FOR WELLNESS (2016) was another film I was really excited for, and yet another disappointment. This is two and a half hours of gorgeous cinematography, some great acting, but not much else. The trailer gave a very Lovecraftian vibe so I just had to own this one. The trailer lied and I am a sucker.

Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) is a determined executive sent to a “Wellness Center” in the Swiss Alps to fetch the companies’ CEO. Through some unfortunate circumstances he finds himself the center’s new patient and under the care of the distinguished Dr Volmer (Jason Isaacs). It doesn’t take long for Lockhart to notice there is something very wrong with the establishment and does everything he can to uncover it’s secrets.

This is a visually striking bore fest with some great acting. The biggest downfalls of the film is it’s length, trying to make a stylish artsy film for dumb people, and about seven fake out endings. The “twists and turns” are made so predictable with foreshadowing that they should just be flashing neon signs. The only logical step would have been for Lockhart to look directly into the camera and say “The water is bad”. Everything is just so predictable and it ruins the experience. This is a case where cutting this film by about 40 minutes would have made this much better. Cutting the film would have also helped with the various plot holes that riddle the story. There is an element of body horror and pretty uncomfortable scenes. All the actors do an excellent job in this piece, Dane DeHann (Life) is an interesting protagonist that is a bit of a dick but not intolerable. Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter) really shines as the mysterious head doctor, but it’s Isaacs so of course he is going to be amazing. The cinematography is beautiful, which director Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Carribean) is known for. Sadly the interesting visuals aren’t anything “new”, we have seen it all before. You can see the effort put into the movie and it’s heart breaking how it is wasted. This would have been a much more impressive Tool music video than feature film.

The film was so underwhelming that there just isn’t much for me to write. This is a movie that could have been an inventive and stunning viewing experience but it all just… exists. Any opportunity is ruined by a sloppy predictable story that is just a run of the mill gothic horror. The movie isn’t good or terrible …it’s just there.


Author: Madeline Milden

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