‘A Cure for Wellness’ shoots for shock and awe



The newest Gore Verbinski film, A Cure for Wellness, comes off like a season of American Horror Story stretched across two and a half hours. While watching I found myself filled with disgust and riddled with fascination – the same feelings I get when viewing the FX series. This movie comes with a hard R rating and for good reason. It’s filled with disturbing scenes that I can’t believe the actors willing filmed.

In the case of Cure and many other twisted dark movies, I feel as if it is being unappreciated now but will, in years to come, be praised as ahead of its time.

As a cinephile I can say that I, and many others like me, have an appreciation for shock factor films. What others see as tasteless and cheap, I see as an understated art piece (especially after viewing The New York Time’s anatomy of a scene segment on the film). For one thing, the movie is visually stunning, the directing style hauntingly beautiful. It was chilling and eerie but oddly captivating at the same time. I applaud Verbinski for his innovative style, as I have never seen a horror movie filmed this way before.

While I do appreciate the genuinely twisted nature of A Cure for Wellness, after about two hours I find the oddities tiring and I feel as if they were trying to fill up the last thirty minutes with gut twisting scenes to hold onto audiences’ attentions. I found myself asking, “What was the purpose of that scene?” or “Why was 10 minutes of the film consumed by a scene of Dane DeHaan drowning a pool of eels? Why are there eels at all?” This is disappointing because the plot was actually good but it was just so convoluted that it’s hard to appreciate.

This film is just too weird to succeed at the box office, a jumbled up plot with many determining factors that range from eels to incest, a horrible promotion plan on the part of the studio and no big box office names, this was box office poison from the start. However I, for one, appreciated Verbinski avoiding any really recognizable stars for this kind of movie.

The cast he picked was perfect. Dane DeHaan was magnificent as Lockhart, a young wall street hotshot who seems to be being shoved into an early grave and Mia Goth (she gave me super cute, ’70s Shelley Duvall vibe) as the traumatic girl stunted at the age of 12. Both actors were superb in their parts especially DeHaan but I expected this from him as he shines in every role he plays … I also just really love Dane DeHaan’s existence and looking at Dane DeHaan, so I could just be biased and I probably am.