Drama / Fantasy / Horror / Thriller
Try pairing with: Quesadilla Burger
Jen’s Rating: B
For 3 days Jeremy kept asking if we could watch A Cure for Wellness but we were so busy I wasn’t really in the mood. So finally I say yes, then watched the trailer to see what I was getting myself into and I realized that I wanted to watch it too.
Lockhart played by Dane DeHaan who is a want-to-be big shot in corporate America. He had just landed the biggest merger, which granted him a raise and a corner office. When brought into a meeting other big wigs started hinting that records weren’t proper and Ex-CEO Pembroke played by Harry Groener needed be brought back from a spa type hospital to take responsibility.
Lockhart thought it would be easy to fly out to the Swiss Alps to bring Pembroke back but he was in for a surprise. He arrived at the hospital and his watch stopped working but visiting hours were over. He decided to attempt to flex his muscles to get someone to allow him to see Pembroke. As Lockhart waited to speak with who was in charge he realized how strange things were. Volmer played by Jason Isaacs came to meet with Lockhart and reluctantly set up a scheduled meeting for that evening. Before leaving Lockhart chugs a glass of water.
As Lockhart attempted to go back to town to make a call to his office he notices the weirdest things going on but one that stood out the most was the only young girl named Hannah, played by Mia Goth at the hospital standing on the roof barefooted. Before his car could even get out of the compound a deer hits the car forcing it off the road with several flips down hills through the forest. He wakes up from the accident at the hospital with a broken leg not remembering what happened, just that he needs to get Pembroke home. An array of weird and twisted events begins to happen which causes Lockhart to investigate the hospital itself.
The rest of the movie is loaded with crazy events that make you unable to take your eyes off the television, which is why I gave A Cure for Wellness a B. The acting was phenomenal and the set was just as great. The only thing that prevented this movie from getting an A was how far-fetched from reality it is. The movie was excellent and I would definitely watch it again.
Jeremy’s Rating: A-
Let me start with what most reviews that I have seen of this film have agreed upon, and that is that this is a slow burn. At over two hours, with extremely slow plot development, this movie will not be for everyone. This will become apparent for most people that do not like this stylistic element within the first twenty minutes, and those viewers will most likely just stop watching at that point. However, those who do enjoy a slow build will find a very rewarding psychological thriller that really uses its art style and character development to confuse and terrify you. Directed by Gore Verbinski, our story follows a young man, Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) who works for a large financial firm and is tasked with finding the president of the company, Pembroke (Harry Groener) who has apparently resigned from his post and entered some kind of wellness treatment program at an exclusive and very expensive sanitarium in the Swiss Alps.
Upon arriving at the facility, Lockhart finds that it is much harder to contact his boss than would be normal at any other hospital, but eventually does find him, and finds that not only does he want to leave, he encourages Lockhart himself to stay and engage in the treatment. Certain events unfold that find Lockhart injured and forced to spend an extended stay at the hospital where he begins to notice that all anyone really does there besides their various scheduled treatments, is drink the water from their “incredibly pure and unique natural aquifer” underneath the hospital. We then meet the mastermind behind the wellness treatment, Volmer, played by Jason Isaacs. He insists that Lockhart becomes his patient, especially with his injury, and he reluctantly accepts, and things begin to get much darker in tone and go awry.
Lockhart eventually encounters Hannah (Mia Goth), who is a younger girl, very different from the geriatric clientele of the sanitarium, and he begins to find problems with what is going on there. What spoke to me the most in this film was the art direction, which is superb, and the nuances of the characters that make them fit perfectly in the moment. Despite the time period being modern, the film maintains a very different period feel as all the scenery, filters, and styling give it a very turn-of-the-century feel and evokes an old, frightening asylum vibe. While this film is not for everyone, those that enjoy a trip through what makes the early years of the mental health field so twisted and interesting, this one is for you. It will keep you guessing the entire time, as it did Jen and I, and even with the twist, the ending doesn’t disappoint, earning this an A- grade from me, as I will definitely be purchasing this to watch many times in the future.