A beautifully terrifying thriller
Director: Gore Verbinski
Producer: Arnon Milchan, Gore Verbinski and David Crockett
Writers: Justin Haythe and Gore Verbinski
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs and Mia Goth
Studios: Regency Enterprises, Blind Wink Productions, New Regency Productions and 20th Century Fox
Release date: December 10, 2016
Country: United States
Budget: $40 million
Box office: $26.6 million
A Cure for Wellness is a 2017 psychological thriller, directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Regency Entertainment. The film stars Dane DeHaan in the leading role, supported by Jason Isaacs and Mia Goth. I had been mildly intrigued, but ended up missing out during the film’s brief theatrical run. A shame since this movie has such a grand feeling to it. It has twists and turns, all the while looking like a million bucks. Some of the opening shots are my favorite, and they do a tremendous job of showcasing the work of cinematographer, Bojan Bazelli. The scenery isn’t horrible either, filming at Hohenzollern Castle in Germany or the Landwasserviadukt in Graubünden, Switzerland.
Henry Lockhart is an American businessman that has been sent to retrieve his boss from a strange retreat deep in the Swiss Alps. The retreat turns out to be a sanitarium specializing in a strange hydrotherapy. This leads to Lockhart learning about the sanitarium being built over their own personal aquifer dating back thousands of years. Lockhart fails in his initial attempt to find his boss, but starts to become engulfed in a mystery surrounding the history of the sanitarium grounds, and what lives in the water underneath it.
Surprisingly, this movie didn’t do much at the theaters. It under performed and was pulled early. I really liked the plot but not really the villain. He reminded me a bit too much of Red Skull from the Marvel Universe. I thought he was a bit too over-the-top and corny. But he was effective. Dane DeHaan was a great lead. He had a good charm that reminded me a lot of James McAvoy or a young Ewan McGregor. Mia Goth was the most forgettable.
A Cure for Wellness is a great movie for horror fans. I found myself finding parallels to thriller movies like The Phantom of the Opera, Shutter Island and Session 9. Suspense plays a huge role in these pictures. The unknown becomes the horror, and in some cases it can be even scarier. Gore Verbinski did a great job directing and telling a story with co-writer, Justin Haythe. I was really intrigued by the backstory and entertained by the movie overall. However, there were a few snags along the way. I already mentioned above that Baron von Reichmerl was a bit corny and I think that his reveal was a bit late. I also thought that the movie ran long. They just kept going.