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Review: A Cure for Wellness

A Cure for Wellness
02.15.2017
7 10

PLOT: A crooked young executive (Dane DeHaan) is sent to a remote clinic in the Swiss Alps to recover his company’s CEO. When there, he discovers the residents either can’t or won’t leave, with the clinic’s deadly secret being tied to a centuries old mystery.

REVIEW: Gore Verbinski’s A CURE FOR WELLNESS is nothing if not ambitious. His long-awaited return to horror, a genre he hasn’t dabbled in since 2002’s THE RING, Verbinski’s made a defiantly bold film, albeit one that suffers under the weight of its own ambitions and a clumsy mystery. Yet, this can be forgiven, as individual sequences are so dazzling, in the end the fact that it’s uneven and bloated (at an indulgent 146 minutes) can be forgiven.

cure for wellness dane dehaan

One thing that’s immediately apparent as one of the film’s strengths is Verbinski’s choice of setting, with the spooky Hohenzollern Castle standing-in for the Swiss clinic. The picturesque setting is captured by his usual DP, Bojan Bazelli, in an unusually flat 1:85:1 (although it looked closer to 1:66:1) aspect ratio for the usually big-budget helmer. It’s lavish for a piece of genre cinema, being one of the few studio horror films in recent memory not to be micro-budget, and shot like a legitimate film.

Despite the sumptuous visuals and evocative score by Benjamin Wallfisch, there are some issues with the film that are immediately apparent. For one thing, the dialogue in the opening scenes, in an attempt to be shocking, is stiff and Dane DeHaan, playing a smarmy company man, isn’t a personable hero at all – although it seems he’s not meant to be. The mystery, which revolves around the clinic’s apparently healing waters, is convoluted, involving a deceased aristocrat and his sister bride, and the premise is a rough one to hang a nearly two and a half hour movie on. Back in the seventies, Hammer could have done the same thing in ninety minutes – flat.

cure for wellness dane dehaan

Even still, the dull plot proves to be beside the point, with A CURE FOR WELLNESS being a must-see for some of the staggering individual set-pieces. Moments such as when DeHaan finds himself submerged in an isolation chamber full of sea snakes or the creepiest dentist visit since MARATHON MAN – a moment that’s not for the squeamish– are worth the price of a ticket alone. Verbinski also gets lots of mileage out of his R-rating, but keeps from going too overboard, saving the gore for shock moments, such as a memorable one that pays tribute to HOUSE OF WAX.

The supporting cast, while low-key, is also strong, with Jason Isaacs at his best as the clinic’s head doctor, whose sophisticated demeanor is a huge red-herring (Christopher Lee would have played him in the Hammer version, Vincent Price in the Roger Corman one). Mia Goth also adds a usual presence to the film, as a waifish girl with the mind of a child who’s awakened by the young visitor. A sequence where she dances provocatively at a bar is especially memorable.

So, even if A CURE FOR WELLNESS tells a B-movie story dressed up in an A-level prestige production, it can be forgiven for how dynamic it is in bits and pieces. Verbinski, despite laying-off horror since THE RING, hasn’t lost his flair for the genre, although next time here’s hoping the premise is able to sustain his ambitions a little better.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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+0
9:46AM on 02/17/2017

Great, Creepy Film

Went and saw it last night. I really enjoyed it! The film is gorgeous and the story was pretty enjoyable. It does run a little long, but with the atmosphere and cinematography I didn't mind the pacing issues
Went and saw it last night. I really enjoyed it! The film is gorgeous and the story was pretty enjoyable. It does run a little long, but with the atmosphere and cinematography I didn't mind the pacing issues
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11:20AM on 02/15/2017

DeHaan ruins everything he touches

I just don't like him. I feel like we have already seen this in much better form with Leo and Scorsese. I know the plots are different but its just trying too hard to market itself as that Shutter Island flick.
I just don't like him. I feel like we have already seen this in much better form with Leo and Scorsese. I know the plots are different but its just trying too hard to market itself as that Shutter Island flick.
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10:41PM on 02/08/2017
146 min??!! Verbinski, along with Peter Jackson, needs to be introduced to the concept of editing, or at least concise storytelling.
146 min??!! Verbinski, along with Peter Jackson, needs to be introduced to the concept of editing, or at least concise storytelling.
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12:06AM on 02/09/2017
It is indeed way too long. I was thinking one scene was the end, but then it just kept going.
It is indeed way too long. I was thinking one scene was the end, but then it just kept going.
10:02AM on 02/15/2017
Yup. Movies can only be good being 90 minutes or less.
Yup. Movies can only be good being 90 minutes or less.
11:54AM on 02/08/2017

The Cure

Just caught an early screening at the Alamo. Gore Verbinski delivers a stylish and atmospheric horror film with A Cure For Wellness. Although it's not perfect, it gives you a very unique experience. You may form an idea of where it's headed, but the journey getting there is still worth the trip thanks to the directing and cast. There are numerous scenes that will stick with you and it leaves you with plenty to dwell on, long after the credits roll. 7.5 out of 10.
Just caught an early screening at the Alamo. Gore Verbinski delivers a stylish and atmospheric horror film with A Cure For Wellness. Although it's not perfect, it gives you a very unique experience. You may form an idea of where it's headed, but the journey getting there is still worth the trip thanks to the directing and cast. There are numerous scenes that will stick with you and it leaves you with plenty to dwell on, long after the credits roll. 7.5 out of 10.
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9:46AM on 02/08/2017

Tantilizing

Now here's a movie I can't wait to see.
Now here's a movie I can't wait to see.
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9:17AM on 02/08/2017
I want to see this for the visuals alone.
I want to see this for the visuals alone.
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+2
8:59AM on 02/08/2017

Would you kindly...

Since he was originally supposed to direct the Bioshock movie I wanted to check this out to see what was lifted into this. Style looks great.
Since he was originally supposed to direct the Bioshock movie I wanted to check this out to see what was lifted into this. Style looks great.
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12:36AM on 02/08/2017
Looks great. With. Score of 7, that's enough for me to go check it out
Looks great. With. Score of 7, that's enough for me to go check it out
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7:55PM on 02/07/2017
Even though I'm not really interested in checking this out, I will say that they have done a good job in promoting the hell out of this thing.
Even though I'm not really interested in checking this out, I will say that they have done a good job in promoting the hell out of this thing.
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