“Do you know what the cure for the human condition is? Disease...”
With a name like ‘Gore’ it’s little wonder that Director Gore ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 1-3’ Verbinski decided to go back to the horror genre (although some would say that his take on ‘The Lone Ranger’ was pretty grim).
Anyway, here we have A Cure For Wellness, which sees corporate weasel Lockhart (Dane ‘Chronicle’ DeHan) sent to try and find out what’s up with his company’s CEO, Roland Pembroke (Harry ‘Road To Perdition’ Groener) – because he’s holed himself up in an idyllic but mysterious “wellness centre” in the Alps and left a note that he’s not coming back – which is an issue as there’s a big deal which needs his signature.
So, the scene is set and from then on A Cure For Wellness and there follows a tense, brooding and increasingly creepy build up as young Lockhart travels to the centre and finds much more than he bargained for… The spa is run by Dr. Volmer (Jason ‘Fury’ Isaacs) who recommends Lockhart try some of their unique therapies while he recovers from an accident. The problem is that the small print on these treatments would read something like “liable to induce unhinged nightmarish visions – mostly ripped off from other horror films”…
From this point A Cure For Wellness becomes a slow burn of freakish and disturbing elements that will make you squirm, scream and cringe. Whilst at the centre Lockhart meets a strange young girl named Hannah (the excellently named Mia Goth), who, like Dr. Volmer, takes the ‘cure’.
This is an incredibly stylish, beautifully shot, living breathing nightmare writ large.
It not so much ‘tips the hat’ at horror directors like Stanley Kubrick and John Carpenter as head-butts them in the face and makes off with some of their best bits… Verbinski doesn’t seem to know when to quit either letting the film run on for over two and half hours packed with some seriously 18 rated material which is liable to test those easily offended. Not for the faint of heart, the Dr. will see you now – don’t be scared - it’s a scream.
Review by Matt Adcock