Genre: Psychological Horror/Thriller 😱
Similar Movies: Shutter Island (2010)
Don’t let the comparison to Shutter Island fool you – while the 2010 psychological thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio features masterfully crafted suspense and an intellectually satisfying climax, A Cure for Wellness instead leaves you with more questions than answers as everything falls apart, rather than into place.
A Cure for Wellness follows Lockhart (Dane DeHaan), an ambitious young executive at a financial services firm in New York City, on a trip to retrieve his company’s CEO from a mysterious “wellness centre” in the Swiss Alps. What follows is 146 minutes of attempted foreshadowing for a reveal that will make you say “well duh” rather than “of course!”.
While the movie has its pitfalls, DeHaan’s performance certainly wasn’t one of them. He was able to invoke feelings of legitimate terror as he stumbles and bumps his way around Saw’s version of a retirement home for rich people. He carried the film to the end, and to the many frustrating points along the way that led the audience to believe we’d already gotten there.
Jason Isaacs is believable in his role as Dr. Heinreich Volmer, the unsettling physician in charge of the wellness centre. His outwardly welcoming demeanour – which is in stark contrast to that of his tight-lipped Scandinavian staff – coupled with the unshakable feeling that he’s up to something are reminiscent of a character he’s played in the past… *cough*Lucius Malfoy*cough*.
Amidst the convoluted plot and spoon-fed exposition, A Cure for Wellness has some interesting commentary on the modern world and the state of the human condition. If there’s one thing I truly loved about this movie, it’s the final moments (and not because that meant it was over). Without giving too much away, the conclusion is a powerful scene in an otherwise underwhelming movie, that underscores how oblivious we can be to our own unhappiness and just how much it can take to ‘cure’ us.
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