Director: Gore Verbinski
After his predecessor suffers a heart attack, ambitious young business executive Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) is sent to a “spa facility” in a remote location in the Swiss Alps. Lockhart’s task was to contact his company’s CEO, Pembroke (Harry Groener). The task not only to contact him but to ensure his return to New York to assist with the final matters in the company’s huge merger which hangs in the balance in light of his continued absence. Upon his arrival all seems quite welcoming and idyllic but hints of a more sinister environment become all too clear when Lockhart is forced to stay at the facility following a motor accident.
To be honest, from the little I’ve seen of Dane DeHaan I have not been very impressed but to be fair, that list of films runs to two and one contain the words Amazing Spiderman in the title. On the other hand I really enjoyed Chronicle so he had a fifty-fifty chance with me here. He didn’t disappoint. I’ll come to the very obvious Shutter Island similarities film wise further on but DeHaan is very similar in appearance and acting style to DiCaprio in his younger years. He gives to the role of Lockhart an ambitious and ruthless business man edge at the outset but transcends well into the tormented soul that Lockhart becomes as the film progresses. Hopefully he can build on this and offer more impressive performances as his career continues.
Now, Jason Isaacs seems to be turning his attention to more creepy and undesirable roles of late, most recently the excellent Netflix series The OA. Here, again, he’s showing he has a quite natural touch for the sort of individual who makes your skin crawl at the same time as portraying a sympathetic and caring man. His Director Volmer is both of these in buckets and the emphasis grows more on the skin crawling and sinister edge the longer the film goes on.
Mia Goth provides the movies female lost soul. Hannah is referred to by Director Volmer as a special case. A lot younger than most of the patients at the facility, Volmer tells Lockhart he thinks of her as a daughter making it quite clear that his protection of her knew no bounds. Goth is excellent, Hannah presents as both empty yet with hidden depths in equal measures. She’s another lost soul knowing no other life than that of the facility. Goth puts a loneliness into Hannah and makes her quite the strange entity she was required to be.
I really enjoyed the film. It offered something a little different from a lot of the current films on offer at your local multiplex. This shouldn’t come as a surprise with the imaginative Gore Verbinski at the helm but the film does lack some originality. As I talked about before the film carries many of the same traits that were offered by Scoreses’s Shutter Island which in itself was based on a novel. It’s almost as if the story has just been tweaked in some areas to present a different take on the story. That isn’t anywhere enough to describe this as a rip off in any way, just a very different vision and turn of events. I was delighted when I found this was to be rated 18 in the UK as it meant a child free cinema and some slightly more stimulating entertainment and A Cure for Wellness certainly provides that. There’s some quite hairy moments at time as the film executes its more horror based moments and this is matched by the attention paid to character development and plot progression. Not for the faint of heart by any means but more for the viewer who enjoys the darker of tales.
3.5/5 Stars: You may think you’re well, but you might just need this cure to be certain.