A Cure for Wellness Movie Review
Some increasingly weird shit happens in the increasingly weird A Cure for Wellness, a fascinating horror- thriller that would rank among the year’s best had director Gore Verbinski cut half an hour from the damn thing.
Dane DeHaan plays a smug junior executive who travels to a remote “wellness center” in the Swiss Alps to retrieve his CEO, but ends up discovering that a lot of crazy and disturbing stuff is going on behind the scenes of the seemingly idyllic setting. Jason Isaacs plays the villain and Mia Goth also co-stars.
Verbinski, who made The Ring, the first Pirates of the Caribbean, Rango and also several much-less-good movies, draws you in almost immediately by clearly establishing that what you’re about to experience ain’t going to be the next Marvel movie. A Cure for Wellness feels ripped out of another era—while it looks great, the story is fucked up enough to be out of the 80s.
Unfortunately, Verbinski hasn’t made a movie under two hours since 2005, and like many of his other bloated films… A Cure for Wellness is bloated. As intriguing as the film is at first, it drags mightily in the middle. DeHaan’s character escapes the facility a few too many times, and it’s only until the bad guys decide that maybe they should actually pay closer attention to him does the film kick back into gear. Verbinski could have gotten to the climax much sooner without losing much; the movie would have benefited mightily.
Thankfully, A Cure for Wellness does recover in the third act as Verbinski and writer Justin Haythe ratchet up the crazy factor and make DeHaan swallow some eels and shit.
A Cure for Wellness isn’t a great film, but it’s a good one. The real shame is that with tighter editing and storytelling, it could have been a must-see.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.