A Cure for Well­ness (18)

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - FILM - ON GEN­ERAL RE­LEASE DA­MON SMITH


An un­set­tling and achingly stylish psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller, set pre­dom­i­nately in a spa lo­cated in the Swiss Alps, A Cure For Well­ness casts an in­tox­i­cat­ing spell with its de­lib­er­ately off-kil­ter cam­er­a­work, hal­lu­cino­genic set pieces and dis­cor­dant or­ches­tral score com­posed by Ben­jamin Wall­fisch.

It’s an im­pres­sive amal­ga­ma­tion of colour­bleached pro­duc­tion de­sign and slow-burn­ing sus­pense. Alas, a sus­tained build-up of ten­sion dis­si­pates in a lu­di­crous fi­nal act that re­peat­edly chooses cheap, sala­cious shocks over plau­si­bil­ity. An ex­ces­sive, self-in­dul­gent run­ning time cer­tainly doesn’t help and scriptwriter Justin Haythe re­peat­edly falls back on hor­ror movie cliches as punch­lines to his art­fully con­trived weird­ness.

Am­bi­tious ex­ec­u­tive Lock­hart (Dane DeHaan) gains rapid pro­mo­tion when a col­league suf­fers a fa­tal heart at­tack. He is sum­moned to the board­room where se­nior staff re­veal CEO Roland Pem­broke (Harry Groener) has dis­ap­peared to an Alpine spa at a cru­cial junc­ture in a busi­ness deal and he is in­structed to bring Pem­broke back to sign off a hugely prof­itable merger.

So Lock­hart trav­els by train to Switzer­land and heads into the moun­tains by car. “There’s al­ways been bad blood be­tween the vil­lagers and the peo­ple on the hill,” re­marks a taxi driver omi­nously...

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