Five dollar discounted games in Steam have better storytelling than A Cure for Wellness. Way more story elements too.
A Cure for Wellness Synopsis
Lockhart, an ambitious young executive, is dispatched by his bosses to a Swiss wellness centre to retrieve his company’s CEO i.e. Roland Pembroke. At the centre, Lockhart encounters various resistance in his attempts to reach Pembroke, and is subsequently forced to remain at the centre after breaking his leg in a car crash. While recovering, Lockhart continues to investigate the centre, and soon uncovers various clues pointing to the staff conducting macabre experiments on patients. Lockhart also quickly realises that everything is linked to the dark history of the institution. It was once owned by an incestuous baron accused of conducting hellish experiments on peasants.
This is the first time I’m having difficulties with my graphic summary. As you can see, I barely have enough points to fill up the space.
Which itself summarises my take on A Cure for Wellness i.e this movie being a wearisome attempt to fill a large space with too little content. Or, to put it in another way, that of a TV episode amount of story squashed into a mind-numbing 146 minutes frame.
How was the squashing done? Well, mostly by dragging out every other scene, then repeating them to double the supposed impact. Arguably, this could have worked had the questions behind these scenes been adequately addressed. But no. Answers are lavishly abandoned in favour of more questions. One minute, the protagonist is screaming from Marathon Man inspired torture. The next, he is charging into a getaway vehicle, with no mention of how he managed to flee after being strapped down with metal cuffs. Eventually, there are so many questions floating about you stop wondering. You just wish for someone to die, hero or villain, so that the movie can end.
Making it doubly disappointing is how A Cure for Wellness actually had a few good things going for it. Dean DeHaan is a reasonable lead, if a little miscast. The whole sinister sanatorium backdrop is also one of those classic horror settings that terrifies without the need for any embellishment.
These advantages, sadly, are all wasted on a story that keeps swimming in circles like trapped fish. One other thing. For the life of me, I failed to understand those few seconds before the credits (mercifully) came on. What was all that about? I was also horrified by the frightening possibility that, OMG, the movie was not going to end. Is there yet another half-hour?! ANOTHER HALF-HOUR?!?!
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