A Cure for Wellness sends Lockhart — an ambitious financial world climber — to a swank chalet in the Swiss Alps to retrieve the CEO of his company. The guy’s colleagues want him back to take the fall for company legal misdeeds.
If successful, Lockhart will be offered a nice promotion. The problem? First, the CEO won’t leave, and second, it seems he can’t leave. Once a person checks into the proverbial roach motel, there’s no checking out.
And Lockhart has checked in.
Getting out, getting the CEO and keeping his sanity is no easy task. All depends on a wisp of a girl who is the only person in the place with answers. However, the answers lead to questions as maze-like as the hotel’s interior.
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A Cure for Wellness is billed as a mystery-thriller. In reality, it’s more of a horror movie, and is a breath of fresh air in an era of awful and anemic horror films. Ironically, a breath of fresh air is one of the things that attract the rich to the story’s posh hotel centerpiece. It’s where they go to forget, be cleansed of past sins and used for the purposes of Volmer, the film’s villain.
Pirates of the Caribbean’s Gore Verbinski writes and directs. Though it’s long and a bit slow in spots, Verbinski and his co-writer Justin Haythe have produced a thinking-person’s horror movie. It’s packed with terrific performances from Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2). He shares star billing Harry Potter alum Jason Isaacs and Mia Goth (Nymphomaniac: Vol. II). All three are terrific, but it’s Isaacs who has the most fun as the steel-eyed, low-key, always-in-control bad guy.
Even more fun are the effects and the sets, and an attitude and plot that is a throwback to films of this genre produced in the 1950s and 1960s.
A Cure for Wellness
Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth
Mr. Movie rating: 4 1/2 stars
Rated R for mature themes, nudity, language. It’s playing at the Carmike 12, Regal’s Columbia Center 8, The Fairchild Cinemas Pasco and Queensgate 12s, Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.