How are you feeling today? You’re feeling well? Good news, I have a cure for that! A Cure for Wellness was a film that had me interested just by watching the trailers. I always felt as though it reminded me of Shutter Island, just a little bit different, and I still consider that to be mostly true. Whatever the case, this is a very interesting film. It does have one major problem, though, it’s way too long. I can only guess as to why, which I’ll tell you after we talk about the plot, but it’s really only just a guess.
A Cure for Wellness follows one man as he travels to a spa/resort in order to retrieve the CEO of his business, as stocks are beginning to crash, and he’s overstayed his planned visit. While there, he learns that there is a cure of some sort, but he lets them know he’s just visiting. He leaves a message with the nurse to contact his CEO and leaves, only to get in a car crash. Well, this resort is also considered a hospital of sorts, since it’s full of doctors, and they treat his broken leg while he’s there, giving off the assumption that he’s a prisoner. While he is there, he begins to notice the strange behaviors of the folks around him and digs deeper to find out the truth behind what’s going on.
So, why is this movie so long? Hard to say, but the director had an amazing eye for what the film would look like. Almost every shot of the film is spectacularly beautiful, it really is. It’s definitely a visual film. I feel like the director shot a ton of stuff and sent it to the editor telling them to cut whatever they felt like since they had enough to work with. So, the editor took a look at the shots, considered each shot to be a masterpiece and didn’t feel right deleting anything and just kept everything in. Yes, it’s a nice-looking film, but when you drag the film on for too long, the point of it all is also lost among the endless scenes. Yes, it’s just a guess, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case. You just have to ask yourself what’s more important – visuals, or ultimately, story.
Let’s break it down and focus on what was good and bad throughout the film.
PEOPLE SCORE – 8/10
Acting – 2|Characters – 1|Casting – 1|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 2
First up, people. Now, this film had an okay vision for the people. The acting was really good, the importance of all the characters was diverse and evident, and everyone worked really well together. That being said, there aren’t many memorable characters in the movie, and I can’t really say they were all the best cast for the roles, either. Some of them, yes. Like Mia Goth, she was pretty perfect. Everyone else was mostly replaceable, even Dane DeHaan.
WRITING SCORE – 6/10
Dialogue – 1|Balanced – 1|Story – 1|Originality – 1|Interesting – 2
The writing score wasn’t as great, almost nothing really stood out here. While I consider it interesting from start to finish, none of the dialogue stood out, it was so long that it really became over-convoluted and imbalanced, there isn’t too much going on when it comes to the story itself, and it’s only slightly original. Like I said, it kept reminding me of Shutter Island.
BTS SCORE – 9/10
Visuals – 2|Directing – 2|Editing – 1|Advertisement – 2|Music – 2
Behind-the-scenes, a lot of things are going on. Like I said before, it’s actually a very visual film. There are so many shots that just look spectacular as is, which is mostly thanks to the director. Those nice shots are mostly photographically nice, as it mostly has to do with where the director decided to place the camera most of the time. The editing wasn’t the greatest. I feel like they left too much in and should have focused more on trimming the film down. Other than that, I consider it as-advertised, and the music was both haunting and memorable.
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 9/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 1
The narrative arc was also almost perfect, save for an ending that leaves the audience a little confused, but is otherwise okay. The introduction tells us what’s going on and why Dane DeHaan’s character has to go to this hospital/spa/resort place. The inciting incident is when he’s stuck there with a broken leg. The obstacles comes down to all of the twists and turns his character uncovers, and the climax is the product of everything added together.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 7/10
Rewatchability – 1|Fun – 2|Impulse/Buy – 1|Impusle/Talk – 1|Sucks Audience IN – 2
How entertaining is it? Well, I do consider it entertaining, just not OH MY GOSH, YOU GOTTA SEE THIS entertaining. I’d rewatch this someday, but it could be several years from now. I did have a fun time watching the movie, as it never really had an issue sucking me in. I wouldn’t even mind owning it, but I probably wouldn’t purchase it…so a gift idea to all those wondering. I also wouldn’t mind chatting about the film, either, but again, I’m not going to go rush to a stranger and tell them to see this film right this second.
TOTAL SPECIAL – 35/50
Drama – 10|Mystery – 5|Horror – 5|Dane DeHaan – 5|Halfway Decent – 10
Finally, for the questions that I asked before watching the film. It is listed under so many different genres, but drama, mystery, and horror were the ones I figured it would focus on first and foremost. The drama was most certainly there, but the mystery and horror elements…not so much. The mystery becomes more predictable since the film is so long, it gives you time to figure it all out for yourself. As for horror? Well, it’s more of an ick horror movie, which I don’t call horror. I’m also a fan of Dane DeHaan, so how was he in this film? Well, he did a good job, but his other movies are better in my eyes. Is it halfway decent, though? Yeah, for sure.