A Cure for Wellness - 2017
A Cure for Wellness can be considered a rare thing now in Hollywood, since it's a completely original idea (its not a sequel, reboot or an adaptation). Gore Verbinski, the same mind that brought us the American remake of The Ring, directed and co-wrote this truly weird (in a good way) movie. The story centering around a mountain top institution, for the rich, and the weird stuff that happens within the walls.
This movie can be considered incredible when it comes to the visuals it was able to bring to the screen. They where able to mix both cinematic and creepy visuals to create a truly unique atmosphere throughout the entire movie. Verbinski's shot composition and editing can be considered a work of art and they need to be recognized at such (even if the story falls on it's face towards the end... more on that later). I have a couple of visual styles that I want to point out.
The first one is the use of water and its mirror effect, to create almost a dual world in many of the scenes it's featured in.
The second being the use of color and shapes to create a unique visual style, very reminiscing of Wes Anderson, but somehow they still feel creepy and irie.
Along with the visuals, Verbinski and his crew created a great sound design going from monotone melodies (ones you would find in a music box), to scenes where the only thing you can hear are the crutches from the main character (played by Dane DeHaan) squeaking along the long institutional corridors. This will probably turn some audience members off, as it is meant to... well drive you insane, as that sound is constant and persistent throughout almost the entire movie.
The three leads of this movie (Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs and Mia Goth) all where able to bring their characters to life. The trio was able to play off each-other and really gave the story the weight needed for us as audience members to buy in to it. The stand out here being Mia Goth, who plays Hannah a "special" case in this institution. Goth brigs a childlike persona and is able to effectively portray it through her eyes.
With all that said the story's twists and turns are telegraphed a mile away having most the audience ahead of the main character. This is a huge fault since you want your audience to identify with the main character and both of them receiving and reacting to the twists at the same time. Now back to the "falls on its face" part I mentioned above, this movie was able to create a creepy unique atmosphere that can be compare to a mind bending suspense thriller, till we reach the last thirty minutes, as they decided to turn into a B movie boss fight, that after thinking about it for almost a full day I can honestly say it doesn't make sense at all.
A Cure for Wellness is worth watching for the performances, the visuals and for the fact that it's a completely original story. This movie would have my full recommendation if it wasn't for how out of tone the final thirty minutes of the movie where. There are some visuals that have been stuck with me for hours after I saw the movie, replaying them in my head over and over again and that's why I love movies.
A Cure for Wellness is currently in theaters, watch it even though it's extremely flawed.
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