After watching A Cure for Wellness for the second time, I have a few questions. The first time watching the movie, I feel like the weirdness and the craziness of A Cure for Wellness makes you overlook the questions that are brought up in the beginning of the film. For this review, I’m going to put a SPOILER WARNING in case anyone wants to actually see the movie.
The first thing we see is a man named Miller dying from a heart attack. He’s mentioned a couple of times after it, then his narrative is done. It would’ve been better to just open with the main character, Lockhart, putting his things in the new corner office. Another thing from the beginning is when the board calls Lockhart in for a meeting, and Lockhart had done something to create an investigation into the firm, we don’t know what he did other than the fact it was amateur, but it’s kind of just left there. They don’t explain anything, and just use it as a flash factor for one of the board members to ask Lockhart if “he’s ever had a twelve-inch black dick in his ass. Jail.” I feel like that was the whole reason for bringing up the “investigation” into something we don’t know about.
Lockhart reads the letter from the CEO I believe of the company and leaves for the resort/sanitarium in Switzerland. As he’s on the train for the sanitarium, we get a flashpremonition. That’s a flashback/premonition combo. His mother died and we see flashes of a painting on fire, eels, I think bodies in tanks and a girl. As Lockhart leaves the train and takes a car up to the sanitarium, we learn a few things about the background of the castle the sanitarium is built on. We get these facts intermittently throughout the movie, it ads more weirdness to the plot overall.
In the 1800s, there was a Baron that lived in the castle on the hill. He was obsessed with the purity of his bloodline, so he married his sister and renounced the church. His sister was infertile, but the baron found something odd in the water. The eels had some kind of healing properties, so the baron tried to create a “cure” from them and experimented on the peasants. He figured out how to dilute the “cure” so it didn’t kill people when they took it, but in the process, the people experimented on became dried up like mummies. With the cure refined, the sister was finally able to bear a child, but the peasants revolted. They burned down the castle and carried the sister away. They cut out the baby before burning the sister and throwing the baby in the aquifer under the castle.
With all of these pieces thrown at you, the audience connects the dot and figures out the girl, the one from the trailer named Hannah, is actually the baron’s daughter, and the director of the sanitarium is the baron from 200 years ago. He has been using the cure to protect Hannah from disease, including having her period. Now here’s where I am also a bit confused. Why did the baron, knowing Hannah was his daughter, wait 200 years for his daughter to go through stresses and new things because of Lockhart and bring on Hannah’s period. At the end, the baron even says he’s tried to keep her from this ordeal, even though as soon as it happens, a light switch goes off in his brain and he wants to have sex with her, his own daughter, to make another child. “To keep the bloodline pure.” Why did he wait 200 years for this to happen? Was he okay with Hannah being “pure” and just his daughter forever? Was he waiting for Hannah to get her period, but also saving her from it? Even watching it a second time, they didn’t really explain anything they brought up in the movie.
Overall, A Cure for Wellness is an odd movie. It’s not bad, but definitely feels like it wasn’t edited to the greatest extent it should’ve been. There were no reasons for some scenes to be in the movie, but if you just look at the surface, it’s not a bad movie. It’s extremely weird. I would almost put it up there with Naked Lunch, but it’s not that crazy. If you want a one time experience that is weird, and don’t mind the weirdness, watch it in theaters, but if you’re on the fence, just wait for the DVD. It’s good, but not amazing. Good luck.