The Cure for Wellness Lies Elsewhere
Review by Aaron Haughton
You could probably glean the gist of this dark wannabe-Fincher thriller from its trailer: a young corporate fat cat travels to a Swedish bathhouse to retrieve a colleague, only to find himself a prisoner to something much more vast, sinister and complicated than he could ever hope to imagine.
From that description it’s easy to be enticed, but remember: Ye who is easily mesmerized with the Hollywood flame, often gets burned...
But so anyways, very quickly in Gore Verbinski’s A Cure For Wellness (precisely around the 15-30 min. mark), the film begins to tire, grow stale and flatten, slowly killing the dwindling hope that this could be a decent picture. This is no small potato either, considering the film’s total run time clocks in at 2 hours and 26 min. (a whopping 45 min. to an hr. longer that it should be).
Screenwriter Justin Haythe buries his narrative alive from the get-go by making every character in the film a douchey greed-driven asshole with no redeeming qualities, save for an innocent young girl, played like a deer-in-headlights by Mia Goth.
And speaking of deer-in-headlights, there are some odious CGI moments. One of which involves a deer and a car crash (featured briefly in the trailer) and is so terrible and unwarranted that you'll wonder to yourself, why did the storytellers put this here? and which creative signed off on this? You'll get so entrenched in these banal mysteries that you'll easily forget about the even more banal mysteries the film has to offer.
To add salt to an already spread-eagle wound, the twists and turns can be spotted miles away, leading up to a climax as unfulfilling as the water that brings the film's players their so-called vitality.
On the whole, you’ll find that The Cure for Wellness will literally turn you ill (and not in a "sick" or "rad" sense), so listen to your M.D. and stay away. Well, at least until it’s at a second-run theater or VOD.
In the meantime, you can get your neo-noir fix with the likes of Matin Scorsese’s Shutter Island or Samuel Fuller’s Shock Corridor, both being clear influences for this two-dimensional cardboard cut-out.
What do you think? Do you agree that this is a shit film? Does it have any redeeming qualities? Share your thoughts and feelings in the comments section below, and, as always, remember to viddy well!