Review: A Cure For Wellness

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“There is a sickness inside us rising, like the bile that leaves that bitter taste at the back of our throats. It’s there in every one of you seated around the table. Only when we know what ails us can we hope to find a cure.”

Yes. Yes. Yes. I have only the utmost respect for this movie and what they did with it. Shutter Island meets Crimson Peak meets American Horror Story:Asylum meets Martyrs. It has a twist at the end that I don’t think someone with perfect vision could see coming. It is wildy perfect and it had me guessing up until the last moments of the movie. There were a lot of things I saw that I wish I could unsee, but at the same time it was so perfect I’m glad I saw them.

I can’t even decide where to start first. Do I start with how brilliant the movie was in terms of story? Do I talk about the acting, and how beautifully it was film? Do I talk about Verbanski and how amazing he did? Dane DeHaan, who I think is one of the most underrated actors in the spotlight, stars as Lockhart, a Wall Street stockbroker who’s gotten himself into a little bit of trouble fudging the company’s financial statements. They send him to bring him the company’s CEO, Roland Pembroke, who has seemingly went crazy at a “spa wellness center” in Switzerland, merely to pin all of the company’s wrongs on him. Upon arriving he encounters some of the strange residents of the wellness center, signs in at the front desk as a visitor, and meets the mysterious doctor in charge, Dr. Heinreich Volmer, portrayed by Jason Isaacs(Hello Lucius). Dr. Volmer informed him that visiting hours were over, and that he could come back the next day, so Lockhart leaves to get a room somewhere to stay the night, he notices a young woman walking around on top of one of the buildings but shrugs it off.

The next scene was one of the most brilliantly filmed scenes in the entire movie. While driving away from center, a deer runs out in front of the car and there is a major car accident. Seeing the visual effects in this scene were perfect, you get to see the outside of the car plus peeks of the inside and how everything looks while the car is flipping. I can’t tell you how amazing of a visual effect this was. Lockhart wakes up the next day in a room of the wellness center and learns about the accident and that his leg is broken. They instruct him to drink plenty of water and get some rest, as soon as he’s all better he can be on his way with Pembroke. Lockhart decides to explore the center and finally meets Hannah, the mysterious girl from the day prior. She tells him no one ever leaves the wellness center, and the reason she is there at such a young age is because she’s a “special case” and once she’s better her father will come get her. After running some tests on Lockhart, Volmer tells him that he his sick and recommends he stays for a treatment, to which Lockhart agrees. This tests his sanity and his well-being as a whole.

There are so many important aspects to this film I couldn’t possibly write them all down without spoiling some important plot. Every character in this film has a purpose, no one stone is left unturned. By far one of the most important characters is Victoria Watkins, a patient who tells Lockhart stories about how the wellness center was once a castle owned by a Baron and his wife. She tells him how the baron wanted a family that was of “pure blood” and the baroness was actually his sister, but she was infertile. He began to do tests on the local townspeople in order to find a cure for her infertility. The townspeople eventually revolted and burned down the castle, and in the process cut the baroness’ baby from her womb, tossing it into the water. Watkins believed the baby actually survived, but everyone else perished.

With respect to spoilers, I have to stop the review of the plot here. The cast of this film was stellar. Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth, Celia Imrie, I could go on and on with the cast. Everyone was perfect in the role they played. The acting was excellent and really did justice to the movie. From the beginning of the movie, Mia Goth was not who I would have chosen for Hannah, but about midway I realized how perfect for the role she was. There’s a scene in a bar, and Goth embraces the role of the innocent minded Hannah perfectly. Isaacs can play any role thrown at him as we all know. And in my mind, DeHaan is really going places someday. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him, I think he will do great things with his career, and this movie shows how talented he can be.

As far as uncomfortable scenes in the movie, there are scenes to make any claustrophobic squirm in their seats, anyone who is afraid of water will turn their heads, and if you have a problem with anything bad happening to teeth you will cover your eyes and ears. There’s a particular scene in a dentist chair that I still cannot get out of my mind.

Overall, I think this movie will be on my list of the best movies I will watch this year. When asked after how the movie was from a friend, I had to stop and tell them to ask me once I had time to process what I had seen. But in a good way. I am thoroughly impressed with the direction of this film and the guts they had in making it. Most people won’t enjoy this film as much as me, basically because it is different. It is weird. It isn’t your typical mainstream horror/sci-fi film, but that’s half of what makes it perfect. Narrow-minded people might even leave the movie early. Trust me, it is worth it to stay for the entire movie and have an open mind. Look behind the stereotypical movie and into this one. It will be worth every penny, and every second of your time.

Rating: 8 out of 10
Trailer: A Cure For Wellness

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