A Cure for Wellness is the newest film by Gore Verbinski, who directed the Pirates Trilogy, Lone Ranger, and The Mexican, is a weird thriller that is compelling to see and visually stunning. There are lots of memorable visuals in the film, but the story goes off the rails. It’s not really a bad thing, but there is a lot of plot elements that are there to throw the audience of the scent of what is really going on.
A Cure for Wellness is a creepy movie
Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) is sent to retrieve Pembroke (Harry Groener) from a Wellness Center located in the Swiss Alps. Upon his arrival, Lockhart finds it difficult to even see Pembroke not to mention actually be allowed to leave. He meets Director Volmer (Jason Isaacs) after a car accident leaves him with a broken leg and he is advised he needs to stay to heal. He sets out to complete his task and uncovers a deeper mystery about the Wellness Center.
DeHaan gives a great performance in this film. He is in some crazy situations and has to really sell all of the tension. His interaction with Hannah (Mia Goth) is really the turning point in the film. When they meet, a lot of the plot starts to come together and their chemistry has to be believable to care as it develops. The ambiguity of her age makes for some uncomfortable encounters, but makes sense within the world of the story.
Verbinski and writer Justin Haythe do a decent job of painting a compelling narrative, but there are a lot of loose strings that could have easily been trimmed out. The film runs almost two and a half hours and these extra elements that don’t do anything than try and cover up the eventual reveal of the ending. In other words, these elements are ultimately ineffective distractions that detract more than they add. It should be said though that, despite the long runtime, the last hour of this film flew by as everything begins to click.
The film features some great camera work and production design. It is a film, that if the premise intrigues you, should be seen in the theater. The sound design is also excellent with a score that definitely helps build the creepy tone. A Cure for Wellness gets the Decent Watch rating.