A Cure for Wellness (2017)
There is a severe lack of mad scientist movies these days. And, when one comes along, it’s hardly billed that way at all. A Cure For Wellness’ advertising was steeped in confusion and beauty and certifiability. And it should have been, because it is by far one of the most disorienting films I’ve seen in a very long time. But at it’s core, A Cure For Wellness is a mad scientist movie that requires you to look beyond subtext, take things at face value, and try not to get too turned around.
That’s not what happens here.
And the downward spiral of his sanity begins here. Interaction between douche bro, the doctor, the staff, and the big wig are obtuse and ominous. More questions are raised than answered and the audience easily begins to wonder what the fuck kind of movie they are watching. Amidst the bizarre treatments for “wellness," which in this case is life in general, are some full-on confounding backstories, mysteries, and wide shots that make one feel pretty claustrophobic, and even lost.
I struggled with figuring out what was happening in A Cure For Wellness, which actually made it fun for me. Was this a ghost story? Was this an immortal tale? Was this an alternate dimension or did it even involve time travel? The maze of the spa, the height of the mountains, the strange connection between the young girl, Hannah (Mia Goth), and the rest of the center, the overlapping story lines, all forced me to give up on not one thread, but all threads, and just watch the fucking movie.
I don’t want to give too much more away than that, because if you haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend that you do. It was gorgeous and confounding and brilliantly-crafted to hide things in plain sight.
There are, of course, deeper themes at play in A Cure For Wellness: a woman’s sense of self, the freedom of a woman’s sexuality, the inherent evil of over-achieving, one’s warped sense of self, psychology, the mistreatment of eels… But, in a movie this layered, I prefer not to go too deep, since what you’re left with, at the end, is something all together shallow and downright muddy.
Zombie Honey Rating: 4 vials of what is almost certainly eel semen.