There is a huge amount of effort visible in every corner of the film and that really helps to give life to something that was so nearly roadkill.
‘Vastly confusing’ is not a phrase attributed to good films. However, there is often far more going on within the make up of a film than just the script or just the plot. So when A Cure For Wellness is as complicated and as confusing as it actually is, there are many other options for redemption.
Set out like a horror movie dreamt up by Wes Anderson, A Cure For Wellness is Gore Verbinski’s directorial return after major flop The Lone Ranger. Acting as more of a mystery piece than anything terrifying, A Cure For Wellness follows Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) as he travels to the Swiss Alps to bring back his company’s CEO from a wellness spa. Lockhart plans on just a brief visit, but after hearing tales of patients never leaving the wellness centre, he ends up embroiled in an ancient plan.
The storyline is flawed. The film is far to occupied with its own theories than carrying the story forward, meaning it’s exasperated length gives no extra plot. It feels almost like bread dough. The limited amount of plot is there, but as you roll it out thinner and thinner, longer and longer, it becomes stretched and breaks very easily.
Aside from this, the imagery and cinematography are exceptional. The symmetry and design are unique, and if A Cure For Wellness has one thing going for it, it’s the beautiful and intricate way it is shot. Yet, this does work against it in the sense that this is a horror movie. It’s more unsettling than anything else and there is a distinct lack of ‘scary’ moments. There’s ideas around eels and teeth that are unpleasant, but there’s nothing horrifying about the film.
Dane DeHaan feels underwhelming as Lockhart, however Jason Isaacs and Mia Goth put in marvellously fantastical performances in are incredibly fitting for such a otherworldly picture. There is a huge amount of effort visible in every corner of the film and that really helps to give life to something that was so nearly roadkill.
It’s too hyped up on its theories, and the film never takes complete hold of what it has going for it, but there is enough substance to make A Cure For Wellness watchable and intriguing.