If you are into psychological thrillers, “A Cure For Wellness” has all the ingredients. The main character is a man without morals who is ripe for the picking. The setting is a creepy, remote locale where it’s hard to trust anyone and even the creaking of the floors and the opening of the doors is enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. And the secondary characters range from shady and spooky to strange and eccentric, leaving the viewer with nobody to trust and leaving the main character with nowhere to turn.
All the ingredients are there, but “A Cure For Wellness” is a movie where the sum is not greater than the individual parts. The storyline has potential, but every angle either fails to come together or comes together in a way that leaves the viewer wanting more. The ending is particularly unsatisfying and may leave you wondering what was the point of the last 2 ½ hours.
Dane DeHaan plays Lockhart, a young workaholic executive who travels from New York City to the Swiss Alps to retrieve his company’s CEO from an isolated wellness center. Upon leaving the center, Lockhart is involved in a car accident that leaves him with a serious leg injury. Naturally, he is transported back to the center, where he quickly starts to realize that the concept of “wellness” may not be quite what the patients think it is.
Perhaps the two key elements that Lockhart learns from the patients, including Hannah (Mia Goth), are that “no one leaves” and that they are all there “for the cure.” That essentially leaves a hobbling Lockhart to explore “Why?” to both of those statements while avoiding the doctors of the wellness center, including Volmer (Jason Isaacs). Throughout his recovery – if that is even the right word – there are surprises for Lockhart behind every door, in every building and inside every toilet.
The cinematography of the film is terrific and the pace is perfect for a psychological thriller. Yet, the many layers fail to congeal by the end of the film and even the ways that the plot does come together will likely leave you unsatisfied. That said, if you enjoy being tortured mentally – both by the creepy thrills of the movie itself and by the way the film drags on with unfulfilled storylines – then perhaps “A Cure For Wellness” is the movie for you.
“A Cure For Wellness” opens everywhere this Friday.