Watch A Cure for Wellness
- 2 hr 26 min
A Cure for Wellness is a psychological thriller from 2016, directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs and Mia Goth. The film follows the story of a young ambitious executive named Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) who is sent to a wellness center in the Swiss Alps to retrieve the CEO of his company, who has checked himself in for a mysterious illness. Lockhart arrives at the picturesque and seemingly idyllic center to find that the patients are trapped in a time warp, as if frozen in an era that is either a throwback to the 1800s, or simply a product of the center's isolation. The surrounding woods and snow-topped mountains that provide an enchanting backdrop to the sanatorium are equally eerie, the kind that beckons Gothic tales out of the shadows.
Underlying the 'Cure for Wellness' that the center claims to offer its patients is a sinister secret that Lockhart begins to uncover as he begins his quest to bring the CEO back home in time for a critical business deal. It is a journey that takes him through a series of increasingly horrifying revelations, including the discovery that the center is linked to the Nazi experimentations of World War II. As the investigation progresses, Lockhart is plunged into a terrifying descent of madness, deceit and death.
The film explores themes such as power, corruption, and the thirst for immortality. The ambitious executive, Lockhart, whose very name is metaphoric, serves as a foil to the patients who have chosen to flee the world of ferocious competition and rat-race, to find solace and peace in the idyllic and secluded sanatorium in the Swiss Alps. The director, Verbinski, sets the stage at the outset with the theme of water - a key element of the film both in terms of its symbolic references and its almost tactile presence. The river that flows through the sanatorium, the water rituals that are part of the healing process, and the use of water in various guises combine to heighten the dreamlike quality of the film, which is further exacerbated by the cinematography and ambient soundtrack.
As the film progresses and Lockhart's mental state deteriorates, the audience is drawn into a dreamlike landscape that is halted only by the most graphic and grotesque scenes of violence, torture, and mutilation. Throughout the film, there is a sense that something is not quite right, which is sustained by the surreal dialogues and performances of the cast. Isaacs, in particular, delivers a performance that is both menacing and unnerving, hovering between the cold clinicality of a Doctor Strangelove and the maniacal madness of a Frankenstein.
The film's climax is as mind-bending as it is surreal, with Lockhart undergoing a transformation that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, and between sanity and insanity. The ending of the film may be controversial, as it twists the audience's expectations, and leaves them with a sense of uncertainty and ambiguity that is both tantalizing and frustrating.
Overall, A Cure for Wellness is a visually stunning film that can be either alluring or repulsive, depending on one's tolerance for horror and graphic imagery. The film is highly philosophical, and raises questions around the pursuit of immortality, questioning the point of living forever if that means losing one's humanity in the process. While the film's lengthy duration may deter some viewers, its ability to build tension and invoke genuine horror makes it a worthwhile experience for those looking for a unique and memorable trip into a darker world.
A Cure for Wellness is a 2017 horror movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 26 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4 and a MetaScore of 47.