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Cure for Wellness, A
 
Year : 2017
Country : United-States


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DokBrowne  [ 7.5 ]    [ add to preferred ]    [ email this review to a friend ]

Laudable as an anomalous gamble of mainstream filmmaking, and a movie-length art gallery of audacious, visually poetic shot compositions, stunning cinematography, and some of the most gorgeous production design you've ever seen in the horror genre. A pristine, idyllic spa for the rich located high in the Swiss Alps, that everyone reacts to like it's Castle Dracula, with a sordid history and bizarre ambience? How did no one make this movie already? Even if in the last 5 minutes the movie turned out to be a secret crossover of the "Twilight" series and "50 Shades of Grey" (trying to think of the most awful thing imaginable here), it wouldn't make the interim 2+ hour experience any less potent a giant ball of opulent catnip for genre fans.

Which is good news for its actual outcome, inadequate to the protracted yet luxuriously cinematic crescendo it punctuates. Most mystery plots are letdowns in the end anyway, but you kinda hope that Gore Verbinski's perennial showmanship and fondness for the macabre will take us triumphantly to the end zone, especially given the investment in time and budget, only to see the movie sputter out in a hoary climax owing to 2nd rate Hammer schlock from the late '60s. "This is it?" I found myself asking of the finale's concept and execution alike. But try to remember that however cool Verbinski's visions have been over his 20-year career, they're usually saddled to dumb, overlong, empty spectacles, with the exception of "Rango", "The Weather Man", and "The Ring", so as to properly calibrate your expectations.

Ultimately it serves as a primer on horror, with multitudinous influences coded in its DNA even as it never really pushes the genre to new heights. For those who have ever seen a couple of scary movies, any psychological or psychedelic or European horror, the narrative destinations shrouded in mystery here won't cause any kind of stir in the imagination or the senses. But an amazing aesthetic is nothing to take for granted; just as Guillermo del Toro's "Crimson Peak" was an eye-fucking work of art built around absolutely nothing, "A Cure for Wellness" is...well, pretty much the same thing. So YMMV and for me, this still counts as hearty entertainment - well cast and acted, suspenseful, dreamlike, eerie, never boring for a second, so much unforgettable imagery...I hope Verbinski doesn't lose his funding now that he's bombed another expensive project. I say keep giving him the money so he can keep bankrolling these brilliantly directed fantasies, and maybe the factors will eventually align and he'll make one we can all agree on. Meanwhile, can't wait to see this again, and so glad I made sure to catch it on the big screen.

 
Weighted Rating : 6.8
No. Ratings : 1
No. Reviews : 1


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2017 9
2010's 311
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2010's 456
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