A Cure for Wellness Review

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Is this the cure to our boredom?

I’m going to start off by saying we need more original movies like A Cure for Wellness.  Now that I got that out of the way, I’m also going to say that I don’t know what to think of this movie.  The trailers left a great deal of mystery in what exactly would happen during this movie.  We knew it had something to do with a some sort of Wellness clinic that was probably evil. Other than that everything else was left ambiguous.  All of that left me with a great deal of anticipation. This is a movie I was excited about for a while now and it was not a reboot or sequel.  So I was disappointed in what came to be ultimately.

This is a weird movie to put it simply.  It starts off with a corporate hotshot named Lockhart being blackmailed by the board into going to retrieve another important member of the board from a wellness clinic in the Swiss Alps of Europe.  After he arrives, he notices several peculiarities about the place.  He also is past visiting hours so he must try to get back to his hotel in town. Unfortunately his cab or limo crashes into a wayward deer resulting obviously in an accident that breaks his leg and also renders him unconscious for several days.  When Lockhart wakes up he is back at the wellness clinic being treated.  Lockhart wants to leave but the persuasive main doctor, Dr. Volmer, convinces him to stay so that he can heal.  During his stay in the clinic, Lockhart discovers things that are not quite as what they seem in possibly disturbing ways.  He also meets a mysterious girl named Hannah, who like him is younger than most of the other patients.   Together they try to uncover the mystery of what exactly is at play here.

Technically speaking, this is a beautifully crafted film.  The cinematography is exceptionally paired with visuals that are so haunting yet so breathtakingly gorgeous at the same time.  This movie feels like it takes place in some sort of weird dream like state with the grey color tone being prevalent.  Dave DaHaan as Lockhart and the beautiful Mia Goth as Hannah do really good jobs with what they are given.  The movie does a great job at not revealing its hand too early as the first two thirds of the movie do a fantastic job at building up the slow burn sense of dread about what exactly is going on.  I had no clue where the movie was going and I couldn’t figure out what the catch was.  Then the movie falters in the last third as the payoff is a little tough to follow because its so dragged out and boring.  It is also kind of cartoonish.  Cure for Wellness also had several points where I thought, well this is the end of the movie but it doesn’t end.  It is a bloated two and half hours where you can feel every painful minute.  All of that is spend building up the dread but ultimately not quite coming together in the way that you would want it too. 

Everything is painfully contrived in this movie.  There is a lot of psychological manipulation in this but it’s never anything more than mind games.  This can be effective sometimes but here it felt like smoke and mirrors.  Disturbing visuals are prevalent in the second half of the movie so be cautious if you are faint of heart.  Despite some of my negative comments about this movie, I still ended up liking the movie more than not.  Why? Because it’s different. We need more different movies rather than the same regurgitated stuff the we normally get. I expected more though. Hopefully this opens the door for more quirky movies with better crafted tales. As far as this one goes,  if your open minded then you might like this movie.
Grade: C
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