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A Cure For Wellness Review

Updated on February 17, 2017
Joseph Lawrence profile image

Joseph (24) grew up in the New York area and is a recent college grad in Film Studies. He is a huge film/TV buff and enjoys discussing them.

Welcome to the Wellness Center

A Cure For Wellness is an co-American/German psychological horror/thriller film by director Gore Verbinski (The Ring). The script was penned by Justin Haythe and Gore Verbinski and cinematography by Bojan Bazelli. The film stars Dane Dehaan (Mr. Lockhart), Mia Goth (Hannah), and Jason Isaacs (Dr. Volmer). The film revolves around a young executive as he travels and stays at a remote rehabilitation center in the Swiss Alps.

The plot of the film centers around Mr. Lockhart and his mission. He is sent by his company to retrieve the CEO (Mr.Pembroke) from the center and bring him back to New York. However, due to a series of unfortunate events Mr. Lockhart is a patient as well. Additionally, a mysterious blue girl in a dress watches him. The treatment centers claims to have found a "cure" for the human illness through its hydrotherapy and various other water treatments. When people come to this facility they don't check out. All the visitors regardless of the circumstances of how they've arrived have found it impossible to want to leave. Plus, there's a blue bottle filled with a strange liquid that everyone seems to be ingesting. Later, he meets a girl named Hannah and find out the facility has a heinous, dark history. Lockhart must now find a way to uncover the darkness and get out of the facility with his body and mind, intact.

Cinematography, Dialogue and Music

"There is a sickness inside of us. Rising like the bile that leaves that bitter taste in the back of our throats...Only when we know what ails us can we hope to find the cure."

Those are words spoken by Dr. Volmer. The movie sets the mood with its spine-chilling music. The sinister, awe-inspiring narration at the beginning of the film keeps you thinking and pondering. An opera singer sings continuously like a siren luring sailors to an uncharted island. As Lockhart arrives, he looks out of the window and see the barren castle as it looms over a tall cliff with the mountains of the Swiss Alps has the backdrop. A girl wearing a blue dress stalks him from atop of the castle as he exits. The cinematography in the film is fulfilling in every way. The Swiss Alps presents a beautiful backdrop to what is to be a very ugly story.

The Mystery

Without going into too much detail, the main selling point and strength of the film lie within its mystery. The narrative explains that there's a human sickness that everyone is unaware of. The center boasts that they know how to treat it. This is why the residents are in a state of tranquility. They do activities, play putt-putt and live in happy bliss. For a movie that is a little over two hours, the film is great at keeping up the suspense. The movie will drop little hints here and there until the final act where things will start to unravel. Why do residents never want to leave? Why are there eels everywhere in the facility? What is in the water? Is it the water or something else? What drew me in to see the film and kept me interested throughout was so that I can solve this mystery. And by the end I was not disappointed.

Bottom Line

A Cure For Wellness is truly a psychological horror/thriller in every sense of the world. No blood or gore here needed. There's a lot of discomforting, elderly nudity and other really creepy moments. But, that's what makes the film honest. The film does not hide its subtitle, spooky nature. There is also several well crafted, disturbing scenes one of which includes an endotracheal intubation scene that will surely make you cringe. The director has successfully managed to plant the seed of horror using suspense and mystery to bring it to fruition. The film wraps itself up nicely and does not leave any stone unturned. What you get here is a complete, open and close horror film that will satisfy you for a long time to come.


A Cure For Wellness is rated R with a runtime of a 146 minutes. It is currently in theaters.

4 stars for A Cure For Wellness

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