Movie Review: A Cure for Wellness
Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) is a young business executive of a company that needs him to retrieve a former executive in order to close a deal. This former executive is in Sweden at a strange institution that claims he is "not well". Thus Lockhart journeys to Sweden to find this man and when he arrives at the institution, things start to get weird. The patients and doctors are obsessed with drinking water constantly, and all patients claim that they are "not well". When Lockhart fails at getting the executive to come back on the first attempt, Lockhart leaves the institution to go into town. On the ride back to town, a deer hits the car which results in a brutal car crash and results in Lockhart having a broken leg and waking up back in the strange institution. Lockhart must now learn what is going on in this institution and get him and the executive out before they go mad.
Creepy & Messed Up (+10pts)
Other Patients (+3pts)
Not Shutter Island (+2pts)
Main Storyline (-5pts)
Pro - Creepy and Messed Up (+10pts)
That is pretty much this movie in a nutshell. A Cure for Wellness was advertised as a creepy, messed up, psychological thriller and it certai delivered on that promise. A movie such as this, runs the risk of getting over saturated in all the creepiness but this one did not suffer from that issue. Around every corner, there seemed to be something that was more creepy as r demented than what had already been shown and this element of the movie felt fresh the entire time. A Cure for Wellness is dark, it is twisted and it is full of bizarre imagery from beginning to end that could give you some pretty strange dreams that may leave you questioning your sanity.
Con - Idiot (-8pts)
Wow this character was a moron. There were so many obvious signs as to what was going on and how it was happening, yet the main character was oblivious and arrogant. Throughout the majority of the movie, this character stumbles to conclusions that the audience learned 45 minutes prior even though the main character witnessed everything that the audience does. This character was so dumb, it left me kind of enjoying the scenes where he was miserable because he really should have seen it all coming. I get that, in movies such as this, it is sometimes beneficial to have an oblivious main character but when none of the clues were subtle, it caused the main character to be seen as an unlikable idiot.
Pro - Other Patients (+3pts)
I will say that the other patients in this movie, made it way more interesting than it could have been. They were both creepy and compelling whenever they were on screen. My only wish is that we could have seen more of these other patients and less of the doctors. All of the actors who played the patients gave great and suspenseful performances which made the scenes they were in, very intense. These characters provided comedy, horror and moved the plot along in times when the main character couldn't figure things out. While they weren't as much of a focus as they should have been, these characters severely improved this movie.
Con - Predictable (-5pts)
This may seem a bit redundant after my rant on how dumb the main character was, but all the clues in this movie were WAY too obvious. Certain lines of dialogue ruined the "surprise" reveal at the end of the film. In a movie like this, a creepy and psychological thriller, the audience should be kept guessing the whole time. Instead, the film delivers obvious clues and a moronic character then pretends that the reveal was a surprise. A Cure for Wellness had serious potential but it failed to deliver the suspenseful thriller that it promised.
Pro - Not Shutter Island (+2pts)
I know it may be weird to give credit to a movie for NOT being like another movie, but one of my biggest concerns going into A Cure for Wellness was that it seemed too similar to Shutter Island. If you have seen that movie then you know what I am talking about. When explaining that this movie was coming out and getting nothing but confusion as a response, I had to (several times) say "It's that Shutter Island movie". That made people know exactly what movie I was talking about which means I was not the only one that saw the similarity. Thankfully this movie was very far from being Shutter Island. Sure, it had a few similarities, but this movie ends up going in a drastically different direction which was a huge relief.
Con - Main Storyline (-5pts)
The main storyline for A Cure for Wellness was an absolute mess. For the first half of the movie, the main storyline is exactly what I explained in the synopsis. Then, about halfway through, the movie takes a turn and pretty much forgets all about the initial storyline. After the second half of the movie, there is a very quick moment that came across to me as the movie saying "See? This is still the movie we set up in the beginning!". To make things worse, the movie does very little to convince us on why we should care about the initial storyline. I did not care about this young executive and I did not care about the executive that he was trying to find. I also was not convinced that Lockhart would be willing to put up with the madness that was occurring in order to find and bring back the executive. Overall, the main storyline of A Cure for Wellness was an absolute mess.
Rating: C- (72pts)
Based on the high potential of this movie, it ended up being a disappointment. It was supposed to be an intense, and suspenseful, psychological thriller and it just did not live up to that potential. Some elements of the movie worked, such as the supporting characters (patients) and the overall creepiness of the film, but due to the obvious clues and dumb character, I simply was not interested in the storyline of this movie.
I would not recommend rushing out to see this movie. Some people may enjoy this movie, but I was fairly disappointed by it. For that reason, if you are interested in this movie, I recommend waiting for it to come out on home video to save yourself a little money.