Beauty, youth, self-image and longevity of existence is an obsession some humans have. Some of us move through life, content with the process of life and death knowing that we all must come to an end. Gore Verbinski’s, A Cure For Wellness is a thriller that is filled with dystopia and with a hint of fantasy. Gore has dipped his toes in many different genres. He has done animation, comedy, action, and taken his chances with the horror genre. He pays homage to the gothic thrillers of the 70’s with his dark castle like spa and the mysteries behind it. A Cure For Wellness reminds us that horror can be visually imaginative and beautiful and not just about blood and guts.
Dane DeHaan is our main protagonist, who plays Lockhart a cold-hearted businessman who is only focused on his success and growth and will do anything to make it happen. The partners of the company have betrothed him with the task of retrieving one of the CEO’s from a spa mountain retreat he has taken. They need him back desperately to be the scapegoat of soon investigation that could ruin them all and ruin Lockhart’s newfound success within the grasps of the business. Lockhart has no issues making this trip with all his workaholic tendencies following him along. He arrives the next day to a damp but dream like spa in the center of the Swiss Alps. Here the ultra wealthy and pleasantly happy retired business minded and intellectual men and women are playing games, reading literature and enjoying only the refreshing spring water that is the available at the spa. The thing that Lockhart doesn’t realize that he has stepped into a place that appears to have only wonder of beauty and amazement, but really has hidden secrets and stories that only history can shed light on may they be in books or within the people at the spa themselves.
Throughout the film you get striking imaginative imagery with modern to antique architecture. Gore’s visual style is always striking but there is lacking in substance and a seamless story line.
Gore and his visionary aspects of the spa focuses on the colors of sea, with an eerie sterile sanitarium aspect that only gives thoughts to what unspeakable secrets and experiments could really be going on behind the walls and in the basements. You are surround by pure blonde nurses, muscular and perfect orderlies that are vacant and robot like. While the atmosphere of the spa is compelling, and filled with mystery, you don’t feel any fear behind it. You do have though, repetitive dark secrets that make for to many stores within the movie. This can be confusing and makes it hard to keep interest in what is actually going on. The audience is thrown into stories of sexual violence, controlled genetics, and a family history that spirals into even more separate stores of its own. Its like watching five movies in one very long one. Overall A Cure For Wellness was a good two hour and 15 min visual piece but is missing a solid story that the audience could grasp on.
A CURE FOR WELLNESS is directed by Gore Verbinski and stars Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs and Mia Goth. It is now playing in theaters everywhere courtesy of 20th Century Fox.