A Cure for Wellness (2016)
R / 2h 26m / Drama, Horror
There’s something in the water.
I remember how I felt the first time I saw the trailer for A Cure for Wellness (2016) – my eyes widened and I leaned over to my husband and exclaimed that I must see it – he met my enthusiasm with a simple “ehh. redbox.” And that was that until its Redbox release early July 2017.
Well, let me tell you, I have made him feel so lame for waiting for the freakin Redbox release – because we watched it and DAMN, WE LOVED IT.
Lockhart (DeHaan), a New York businessman, is sent to a European resort / sanitarium to retrieve another New York businessman that has made it clear that he never wants to come back to the real world. The story falls in parallel with an old tale of a incestuous pervert and a pure bloodline, experimentations on common folks, and an illness that sits right on the tip of your tongue.
The first thing you’re presented with is beautiful cinematography which pleasantly goes on for 2.5 hours. Seriously, the mountains, the sanitarium, the white tiled walls, beautiful blue accent colors, and water treatments will have you swooning. The experience is so jarring because, as you’re enjoying the view, you’re also presented with harshness – aging bodies, painful tooth extractions, weird experiments, slippery and enigmatic eels, and Dane DeHaan’s wannabe Leo Dicaprio face and stupid voice.
Yeah, I’m not a fan of you, Dane. But you didn’t ruin this film for me at all. Actually nothing ruined this film for me – so you suckers out there saying the ending was not worth the time invested, there’s a lot of you and I don’t understand you?
A Cure for Wellness brought me so much nostalgia – even with it’s newness to me. There are 4 films it specifically reminded me of while watching – when it was over I kept comparing them and falling more in love:
- First, which you will probably notice, too, is The Shining (1980). The drive up to the sanitarium is so extremely reminiscent of our journey to the Overlook hotel. Once inside, we are graced with long empty hallways, an adventurous and mostly lonely protagonist, and floor tiles to die for.
- Secondly, which you will probably notice, too, is Shutter Island (2010). I don’t even have to say again that DeHaan is a Dicaprio wannabe, but I will. They have very similar facial features. Also there’s a similar plot – a sanitarium, a mystery, a protagonist forced to stay against his will.
- Youth (2015). I know many people haven’t seen it and that’s a damn shame – it is one of my very favorite films. Both feature aging bodies and the beauty and weirdness found there.
- The Phantom of the Opera (2004). There is a long scene at the end that matches the theatrics and overall feeling of the 2004 stage-to-screen classic and my heart fluttered. I’m talking masquerade like dancing and secret underground lairs here, yall.
The ending is in no way disappointing. If anything it is too unrealistic for the times but I came here for jarring horror – and I got it. And you’ll get it too if you just give it a chance.