By Matthew Sprague
As someone who is thrilled by witnessing a new trailer at home or online for a horror film, this movie “A Cure for Wellness” did more than what was expected. This film presents itself as comfortable and relaxing seeing as we the audience are simply watching our main character travel to the Swiss Alps to retrieve his CEO. But once our main character Lockhart, played by the magnificent Dane DeHaan. We soon realize the uncomforting reality that is bestowed upon this establishment.
Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) is a Wall Street stockbroker who travels to retrieve his CEO due to his company falling apart, his CEO is currently residing at a wellness center in the Swiss Alps. This wellness facility is presented to us as a luxurious estate where most of the patients don’t even want to leave. With this innocent and luxurious estate, as the viewer we are shown beautiful shots almost making us want to visit. Soon we realize that the treatments given by the wellness center may not actually be treatments but more so brainwashing. Lockhart has an unfortunate car crash upon fleeing the center but soon we see that he has awoken with a broken leg preventing him from leaving anymore. Guided by the center’s head doctor, Heinreich played by Jason Isaacs, we see that Lockharts sanity is put to the test to discover if the center’s treatments are curing them or keeping them ill.
As the viewer we can become irritated with Lockhart since there is something obviously wrong and no one else but him seems to care. Lockhart is the only one who attempts to raise questions or snoop around looking for clues as to what’s really going on at the wellness center. While watching we are shown periodically that the water the patients are drinking contains some type of small worm or bug inside which we learn is to control the patients, with Lockhart figuring this out he decides to reject the water and questions the Doctor as to what’s really going on. We are then introduced to our next main character who we’ve seen glimpses of throughout the film Hannah, played by Mia Goth. Hannah is Doctor Heinreich’s daughter who is displayed as a thirteen year old girl but very obviously has the appearance of a late teen if not early twenties.
As the film goes on we discover that the head Doctor has been using his patients to create this medicine that stops aging and allows one to live to be older than the average lifespan. This being the main plot point of the movie came to surprise since the film did a great job at covering this. But then we the audience are hit with yet ANOTHER plot twist with that being his daughter has been kept alive for so long due to the Doctor wanting to keep the bloodline pure. Insinuating incest, the Doctor feels that their bloodlines needs to be pure for this remedy to work.
This film does an excellent job of keeping its audience at the edge of their seat trying to figure out the mysteries held behind each character. The end of the film shows Lockhart and Hannah escaping the burned down wellness center on a bike with a jarring smirk on Lockharts face, we can assume that something isn’t finished. Unfortunately there hasn’t been a second movie following the events of the first and with proper research, there doesn’t seem to be one anytime soon in the future. I would highly recommend this movie to any film watcher that greatly appreciates horror films that derail from the classical jump scares. This movie presents that thrilling horror through a psychological format which I can greatly appreciate. Maybe there is a cure for horror films after all.