Tuesday, July 4, 2017

A Cure For Wellness

“A Cure For Wellness” 
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Description: Lockhart (DeHaan), an ambitious Wall Street executive, is sent by his company to a remote sanitarium in Switzerland to retrieve a high ranking company official, Pembroke, who believes he is ill and will not leave.

Review: The wellness center sits in an ancient castle on a hill in a remote area of the Swiss Alps. People in the nearby village see the rich guests being driven up to the spa but they never see anyone leave.

 Lockhart arrives to the picturesque setting and is given the runaround to see Pemboke. He is told to return later in the evening. On his way back to the village he is in an accident causing him to wake up in the sanitarium three days later with a broken leg.

So starts his journey unraveling the puzzle that is the sanitarium and its powerful residents. There’s the facility’s Director Volmer (Isaacs) who doesn’t want anything to set back the treatment of his patients. There’s a young woman, Hannah (Goth), who says she’s a special case and is under the guardianship of Volmer. There’s patient Victoria Watkins (Imrie) who likes to solve puzzles and is digging deeper than she should into the dark history of the institution. There's the "vitamins" everyone takes from blue bottles. And last but definitely not least is the Sanitarium itself, a gothic castle framed by the mountains of the alps – full of majestic beauty and wellness of its famed healing waters on the outside but masking a dark reality of its many treatment rooms and wings and even darker creatures in the aquifers.

This movie is visually stunning. One can’t help admire the castle, the mountains, the treatment rooms, the swimming pools, the architecture and the lighting. In addition to its sunny appearance, there’s the mysterious atmosphere and dread that builds as the story moves forward. Once its over, you may be left with many questions to ponder but overall I enjoyed this captivating piece of gothic horror.