Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Film Review: A Cure for Wellness (2017)

A Cure for Wellness (Review)
United States/Germany/2017
Format Viewed for Review: Google Movies
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...it's a plot we've seen before, but its characters are interesting, the mystery is still engaging, and the direction is great."

An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company's CEO from a remote "wellness center" in the Swiss Alps, but he soon finds everything is not what it seems...

A Cure for Wellness follows ambitious executive Lockhart (Dane DeHaan). He's gotten himself into a bit of trouble and, in order to fix his mistakes, he's sent to the Swiss Alps to retrieve his company's CEO, Roland Pembroke, from a remote spa. Roland Pembroke was only supposed to spend two weeks at the spa, but he's suddenly decided to stay at the wellness center and abandon his life. When Lockhart arrives, he finds himself surrounded by wealthy elderly people who have also decided to permanently stay at the wellness center. Why? Well, Lockhart is determined to find out, especially since the facility's director seems hellbent on keeping him there. It's a very familiar story. You may find yourself asking: have I seen this movie before? However, it's still effective and entertaining. It leads to a fairly predictable but well-executed finale.

A Cure for Wellness isn't a film for everyone. The runtime alone can be daunting. This movie is around two hours and twenty minutes long. The lengthy runtime is farther damaged, or perhaps bloated, by the derivative and often predictable plot. There are moments where you might want to fast forward just because you'll feel like you're watching a film you've already seen. I suppose this might be a bigger issue for those who watch films frequently. Still, despite its issues, A Cure for Well is undoubtedly a well-made film. Yes, it's a plot we've seen before, but its characters are interesting, the mystery is still engaging, and the direction is great. The film is suspenseful, atmospheric, and, most importantly, entertaining. It is a very well made psychological thriller/horror film.


Dane DeHaan performs well as the leading man. Mia Goth was good, although she doesn't have as much screen time to really shine. The supporting cast was also strong. The music was great. The film was shot beautifully. The visuals were stunning. The screenplay was written by Justin Haythe with Gore Verbinski serving as director. The writing didn't take many risks, opting for a safe, predictable plot with a fabricated sense of surprise, but it works. Verbinski direction allows the film to stand by creating an atmospheric horror film with great performances.

Overall, A Cure for Wellness is a very good movie. Like I said, it won't be a film for everyone. If you're looking for a traditional or casual horror movie, look elsewhere. This is an atmospheric mystery-horror movie. It has its fair share of flaws, but, if you have nearly two hours and a half to spare, it's worth watching for dedicated fans of the genre.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Violence and blood, nudity.

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