A CURE FOR WELLNESS
A test for patience
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.