A Cure For Wellness || A Uncomfortable Mess **No Spoilers**

2/23/2017


A Cure For Wellness is a mystery/drama starring Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, and Mia Goth. The story follows Lockhart, a newly promoted executive who is set with the task of retrieving his company's CEO from a wellness retreat located in the Swiss Alps. Upon his arrival there, things appear not as they seem. All patients are "sufferers" of the same illness that supposedly only Dr. Heinrich Volmer has the cure for.The questions mount as Lockhart is forced to become a patient himself and befriends a strange girl named Hannah who is said to be a "special case". Will he be able to leave? And what is the cure?

Straight off the bat, this movie had a good idea but was poorly executed. It didn't seem to know when to end, which makes for a crappy time when I tell you that it comes in at over 140 minutes. It had plenty of time to find itself, but sadly just never did. I had more issues with certain aspects/scenes of the movie, but we'll discuss those later, for now, let's start with the moderately okay.

The first half of A Cure For Wellness is good. You have a entertaining plot (some predictable, but not all), decent characters, and beautiful imagery that keeps your eyes pleased throughout. Actually, the entire movie is shot beautifully and you can get a glimpse of that in the trailer, which I assume you've seen. (If not, click HERE). The actors fit well into their roles - most notably Mia Goth as Hannah, who gave me major Cassie from Skins vibes. Everything was enjoyable.. The story progressed smoothly and although they kept adding questions onto the pile of mysteries, it still had me gripped. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. In the second half, there are a few graphic scenes of gore that I, as a slasher fan, enjoyed. They were moderately graphic and realistic, which was appreciated. The entire movie was wrapped up quite nicely, and neither me or my partner saw some of the outcomes coming (say that 10 times fast) - which is a rarity. In fact, around the halfway point, I was thinking "I'm pleasantly surprised to how this is going.". But then I ran into a brick wall of problems.

As stated on any site that offers the rating of this movie, (it's rated R, just fyi.), there is a scene of sexual assault. Now I didn't know this going in, and I wish I had. Truth be told, I would've likely skipped A Cure For Wellness altogether if I had known. I usually find with these types of movies, the assault isn't needed to progress the story whatsoever. You may disagree, and that is perfectly fine. We're all allowed our opinions. Safe place, people. I might write up another blog post altogether about this particular topic as I find myself having a lot to say on it, but I won't stray too far away from solely discussing A Cure For Wellness here. If you want to go into this movie completely blind or assault in entertainment doesn't faze you, skip down to under the last photo.

The sexual assault was unneeded. Simple as. It didn't add anything new and didn't affect the outcome of the plot. They could've easily ended that particular scene 5 minutes before anything sexual began, and us as the viewers would've known exactly what was being implied without having to sit through the discomfort of watching a human be degraded on film. It was graphic but not in the way you might imagine. It wasn't "artfully" shot, nor was it full on. It was simply.. hollow. And lengthy once you realise it wasn't going anywhere. You could argue it was in there for the shock value and yada, yada. But hear me out, films such as I Spit On Your Grave, Last House On The Left, Eden Lake, and Hills Have Eyes have scenes of graphic sexual violence, but the difference is, they are of the horror genre. A Cure For Wellness is not. It is marketed as a mystery/drama. As told by some, even the non-consensual sexual scenes in Game of Thrones amount to something bigger i.e the becoming of a strong female character or whatnot. (Don't quote me on that, I'm going solely on what I've heard and not seen.) But alas, my roundabouts point stands. In A Cure For Wellness, sexual assault had no place.


Adding onto that, what infuriated me more was the way the movie handled Hannah's character. Keeping in mind that she is said to be in her early twenties and yet the only youthful woman with a large role in this movie, the assault scene is close to coming in at second place when we play the "what made you most uncomfortable about A Cure For Wellness?" game. It felt like large chunks of the movie was spent commenting on how naive and innocent Hannah is, but in the creepiest way one can imagine blokes noticing that. She seemed to constantly be doing things that she didn't want to do/wasn't sure on, because a guy suggested it - all the while they knew she wasn't comfortable, and that fact just never came to light or amounted to anything. It seemed as though viewers were just meant to accept that for what it is, which left a bitter taste in my mouth. She quite clearly had a mind of her own, but you rarely got to delve into that which kinda defeats the entire purpose of having a character like her. They kept her a shell.

The overall character growth in this movie was lousy, and that's a shame as they chose great actors who fit perfectly into their individual roles. Hell, if it wasn't for the two major key points that I didn't like, I may of recommended this movie to you. After all, the mystery aspect held strong, which is what A Cure For Wellness seems to be at heart. It just went astray with disturbing scenes and unnecessary shock value - which just didn't work for me.

Did A Cure For Wellness suffer because it had too much time and not enough story so they added in random crap, or did the editor quit so they just pushed everything together and hoped for a decent outcome? We'll never know. I enjoyed the movie for it's visual beauty and the rare but notable heart-pounding scenes, but sadly that is where it ends. I hope to see Mia Goth in more future roles (hopefully not just as the pretty face, her being a model and all), as she added the much needed depth that the other characters failed to bring. She was the standout for me.

I'm not a reviewer so I shan't rate this out of numbers, but I'll give it a strong 'Meh'.

- Anne x

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