A test for pa­tience

SFX - - Reviews - Penny Archer

RE­LEASED 3 JULY (Blu-ray and DVD)/OUT NOW! (down­load) 2017 | 18 | Blu-ray/DVD/down­load Di­rec­tor Gore Verbin­ski Cast Dane De­haan, Mia Goth, Ja­son Isaacs, Celia Im­rie

Watch­ing the mul­ti­ple trail­ers and pro­mo­tional clips for Gore Verbin­ski’s dis­tinc­tive-look­ing sci-fi hor­ror A Cure For Well­ness, you got the sneak­ing sus­pi­cion it’s go­ing to turn into Shut­ter Is­land.

Dane De­Haan plays an am­bi­tious young exec from a New York fi­nance firm sent to a re­mote Swiss alpine spa to lo­cate an ex-em­ployee gone rogue. But when he gets there he’s thwarted by of­fi­cious staff, and gets into a car ac­ci­dent which means he’s forced to re­main at the fa­cil­ity to re­cover. What he finds there are some very strange med­i­cal prac­tices, pa­tients with a look of fear, and a very odd, waifish girl (Mia Goth) haunt­ing the grounds.

What’s go­ing on here? Sadly by the time Well­ness drags its way to­wards the end of its mas­sive run time, you wish you were watch­ing any­thing near as so­phis­ti­cated as Scors­ese’s twisty asy­lum thriller.

In­stead Well­ness is un­fo­cused, gothic Love­craft-lite non­sense, with a plot that veers from the in­trigu­ing to the tire­some to the ridicu­lous, packed with clichés and pre­dictable but id­i­otic twists, and fea­tur­ing a ter­ri­ble scenerychew­ing per­for­mance from Ja­son Isaacs as the mad sci­en­tist in charge; not his fault, given the char­ac­ter he had to work with.

The hor­ror genre is no stranger to schlocky non­sense, but it seems more of a shame here since the film’s aes­thetic is so strik­ing – im­ages of Goth en­twined in a bath full of eels and De­Haan sus­pended in a cobalt wa­ter tank are in­deli­ble. And be­fore he be­came the Pi­rates man, Verbin­ski proved he could han­dle hor­ror ex­pertly with the US Ring. But this is ag­o­nis­ing: A Recipe For Dis­ap­point­ment.

Ex­tras One deleted se­quence (four min­utes); a fea­turette on the score (four min­utes); and three “meditation aid” vi­ral videos (eight min­utes).

Al­though it’s set in Switzer­land, the film was shot in a for­mer hospi­tal com­plex in Ger­many. Adolf Hitler went there once.

De­spite his hospi­tal stay, the eye bags were chronic.

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