Brand new out at the UK box office this weekend, A Cure for Wellness.
Working on Wall Street is a lot of pressure right? Anyone trying to keep up with the tradings and work ethics would find it difficult to keep up? So you don't think too much of the CEO of a large company taking two weeks off to visit a spa, just before a highly important merger. He is just taking a break, ready to focus on the tasks at hand. A nice relaxing spa up in the Swiss Alps is everything he could possibly need.
Until he decides to not return to work, and hand in his notice in a very strange fashion. Leaving the company concerned he has lost his mind, as well as worried as they need him to sign off on paperwork or the merger will not happen. With a very strict time scale left to them, they find a young hungry stockbroker (Lockhart) sending him to the retreat to bring back their CEO (Pembroke) asap.
His mother is concerned, they already lost his father to suicide on Wall Street when he was a young boy. Now she frets that her son is following far too closely in his footsteps. Lockhart tries to comfort her, but she is convinced he will not return. He shrugs it off, insisting when he returns he can afford for her to move to a better care home. Setting off on the train for the Alps.
The villagers are not friendly, there is a great divide between them and the people on the hill (aka those at the spa). Seems there are all sorts of old tales about the Baron searching for a pure blood line, eventually marrying his sister who was killed and the buildings burned down. Lockhart has missed visiting hours, and of course, he isn't going to take no for an answer. The nurse gets him to sign papers to see her manager (yes these papers are not what he thinks and very important to the storyline), and he is asked to return at 7pm.
Heading to a hotel, the car is caused to crash by a deer that runs in front of them. Leaving the car wrecked and the young man waking up in the spa with a broken leg. Everyone assumes Lockhart is a patient, no matter what he says. So he takes the time to explore and look for the man he is meant to be taking home with him. The doctors are very insistent he drinks as much of the water as possible, as it has healing powers. He does drink it, but notices there is a weird little bug of some kind on the edge of the glass. He pays no attention to it, but let me assure you viewer it is one of the most important scenes of the early part of the film. That and oh look, creepy blue bottles that the staff all take vitamins from!
Exploring Lockhart starts to realize that nothing is what it seems, an old lady helps him with research on the history of the area. He sees one of the staff wheeling bodies into a strange building he can't get into. Time to turn up his investigating powers to find out exactly what he has become mixed up in. As well as trying to find out why there is one young woman (Hannah) at the spa among all the old people. A young woman who says she isn't allowed in the water, as she is a 'special case'. Someone he would like to get a lot closer to.
This film is most clearly the 18 rated stated, it is a creepy, suspenseful and at times often terrifying horror film. Although the Baron subplot is pretty easy to work out, as well as eww there is something in the water. It doesn't detract from the other subplots going on. I am not much for horror movies at the best of times, there were several moments I really wished I wasn't alone at the cinema so I had someone to hide behind! Starting with his first 'treatment', which spooked me straight away as I have a fear of being underwater after nearly drowning as a child. Then what happens during the treatment nearly had me running for the hills.
If you have a weak stomach or do not like horror movies this is not a piece for you! If you can get over the icky factor of freak experiments, teeth being ripped out, and people being randomly attacked then it really is a fantastic production. Just perhaps not one I would hurry back to see again without someone to hold my hand.
Sarah Beth James