A Cure For Wellness on the surface has everything an audience could want in a highly stylized supernatural thriller.

Much like how “Dracula” begins with young Jonathan Harker being sent off to the mountains to retrieve a co worker, young Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) is similarly sent by his financial firm from New York to the Swiss alps to bring home a senior partner from a Health Spa.

Dr. Vollmer

Lockhart meets the head doctor of this mysterious health spa Dr. Vollmer (Jason Isaacs), and does his best to convince Mr. Pembroke (Harry Groener) to return to New York with him. This obviously won’t work for the spa/hospital, and Lockhart is involved in a pretty bad crash when leaving the facility one night. He awakens with broken leg, and the assurances his office has been told about the crash.

Enjoy some aquatic aerobics
Enjoy some aquatic aerobics

Lockhart continues to try to get Pembroke to leave, although his presence in the facility is rapidly causing him to question his sanity.  This COULD be because of the water, as it seems to be the only beverage available.  Lockhart also makes the acquaintance of Hannah (Mia Goth) the only other young person at the spa.  She’s a little strange, putting it mildly, and of COURSE Lockhart is immediately drawn to her.

Hannah and the most beautiful shot in the entire film.
Hannah and the most beautiful shot in the entire film.

Lockhart is told he needs to begin a set of ‘treatments’ that the facility specializes in, in order to help make him ‘better’. Needless to say, things don’t go so good.  He starts hallucinating (or IS he), and finds some absolutely bizarre treatment rooms.

What kind of spa is this?!
What kind of spa is this?!

But then everything goes downhill when the true motivation for the strange water based treatments and experiments are revealed.  I won’t tell you what it was, but, it REALLY didn’t need to happen.

The nightmare inducing scene that made everyone in the audience freak out.  It was AWESOME.
The nightmare inducing scene that made everyone in the audience freak out. It was AWESOME.

SCORE: 2 OUT OF 5, viewed in standard non 3D, probably will watch again at some point

The reason the score is so low for a film I actually appreciated is the motivation thing that I won’t go into because then it’ll spoil the reveal for you.  It wasn’t new, it wasn’t original, there was nothing truly entertaining about it.

The visuals were good, the pacing a bit slow in places, the overall story was fine. The ending totally lost me. If you don’t mind spoilers, and like me enjoy knowing about the mechanics behind the camera of pulling off certain moments, check out this piece from Vulture. The author talks about some of the more gruesome and cringeworthy moments, so read at your own peril.

A Cure For Wellness opens on Friday February 17th, 2017.

ABOUT >> Mary Anne Butler
  • BIO >> Mary Anne Butler (Mab) is a reporter and photographer from San Francisco California. She is a lifelong geek, huge music nerd, occasionally cosplays at conventions, does Renaissance Faires, and in general lives the life of a True Believer. She may be short, but she makes up for it with a loud voice.
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