Some thoughts, facts and spoilers.
A Cure for Wellness was really in need of a cure for flopping. This past Friday, the movie came out in theaters all around America. With a total production cost of $40 million and boat-loads of various advertising all over the place, A Cure… was bound to be one of the next hit 20th Century Fox of 2017. That was not the case.
I had been seeing trailers for A Cure… for quite some time, probably around October-ish. From the trailers, the movie looked super weird, action packed and VERY mysterious. This is something I like in a movie. Periodically between October and the release of the film I’d see the occasional trailer and freak out, wondering what the heck it was. Around December time, I made a note in my calendar to see it when it released on February 17th.
Along with a big Superbowl commercial that had millions of people watching, 20th Century Fox thought of making news sites that promoted the product of the movie, healing water. However, some claimed the news sites that displayed fake news were promoting “fake news” and were overall a poor marketing strategy. While the news sites were fake, it was more to promote the movie and the product of the movie so audiences would go out and see the movie. Just before A Cure for Wellness released, the sites were taken down and an apology from 2oth Century Fox was issued.
Regardless, I was not deterred from the news sites and I was still eager to see the movie. So, on Friday’s premiere, I went to go see the movie with my friend Danielle to see what all the commotion was about. To begin with, it seemed like Danielle and I were the only ones, along with about seven others, who actually were curious what the commotion was all about. The theater was empty.
For one, the entire movie took place at an isolated location in Germany. If that didn’t throttle the audience’s interest, the plot surely did. The movie started off very solemn and dark, business office setting, odd situation and confusing start to the plot. However, things began to pick up while Dane DeHaan’s character, Lockhart, set out on his journey to the mysterious retirement home/wellness center/hospital to contact and bring back a man who was critical for the company. Essentially, Lockhart bringing this man away from the hospital and back to the company was the whole plot, however, things started to take a turn for the worst when Lockhart became a patient for the hospital as well. Lockhart would learn information about the hospital through various patients, further piquing our curiosity to what this place is really all about.
The locations filmed were beautiful, crisp and downright spectacular. The castle where almost the entire story took place was at the Hohenzollern Castle on a mountain in Germany. Within the castle (or so to make the audience believe) was the Beelitz-Heilstätten (Hospital) which was actually completely renovated and remodeled for the movie. Watching the movie, one would never think that the white, clean and pure-looking hospital was actually once the home of twisting ivy, broken glass and little critters. After seeing before and after pictures of the hospital, it’s easy to understand why the budget cost what it did.
A Cure for Wellness continued to get darker and darker with ever scene with the truth about the hospital unraveled in small increments. The plot of what was actually going on soon was shed with light (or really darkness) and the entire audience sat in their seats with disbelief. Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie where I was in disbelief and horror for such an extended amount of time. My hand was over my wide open mouth as Danielle and I sat there, freaking out, sinking into our chairs.
The movie continued to climax, leaving the audience still guessing as to what was going on. Our hearts were pounding as death occurred around us and the hospital began to take a turn for the worst. After a some-what conclusion, the movie then came to an end, leaving us locked in our chairs, taking in what we had just witnessed.
A Cure for Wellness was certainly a movie I’d call horrific and odd. I went into the movie expecting something bizarre and creepy and I walked right out with it. Poor Danielle who didn’t exactly know what she was getting into did not mentally prepare for what was about to happen. Fortunately, I did but it still wasn’t enough for what we both witnessed.
After going through an emotional and traumatic experience with the over two hour long experience, I’d have to say that A Cure for Wellness is a movie that I would highly recommend for you to go see. While yes, the movie was completely bizarre and unfathomable for the average moviegoer, I believe it truly reshaped horror movies into a whole new fashion. I’ll definitely have to see it again not only for the story this time, but also for the cinematography and camera work. While the movie may have flopped drastically, I truly believe it’s worth the $11.75 or so ticket. Grab some popcorn and a soda and be ready for a wild ride. Also, use the bathroom beforehand.