A Cure for Wellness

This is going to be a very long reveal.


It's practically yawning with Inception‑like sleepiness!
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Reported on 5th of July, 2018

Of course it’s not, because it’s me. It turns out not so much that you wouldn’t be able to guess that worms from the future make you immortal, as you’d be forgiven in not caring. No, ‘This is going to be a very long reveal’ is just something that I wrote far too early on in a A Cure for Wellness. I didn’t know it was two and a half hours when I bought the ticket.

I know it now.

A Cure for Wellness

22 February 2017 @ The Gaumont Rennes


-$3.00 or, if one must be prosaic, and one must... 
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

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I feel like this has happened enough that there should be a name for it: incredibly creepy place is…very slowly…revealed to be creepy. I tend to call this Short Film Alert and this is true: no more than one act here. It’s a horror film that turns out to be a horror film. Which in turns out to be in no way scary.

Spooky!

In order to pad the material, it does hurt that Mr. Dane DeHaan is tasked with another thing that the broker told the producer was like business-y and stuff. What if the character was…hold on here…getting the signature of a boss to facilitate a proxy for two-thirds majority board vote! Why it’s practically yawning with Inception-like sleepiness!

The unrelatable corporate shenanigans come across as what they are: efforts to pad. This phenomenon is peculiar to below average horror films with way over average budgets, with filmmakers that have spent a lot of time thinking about how it will look, and not a lot how it will be watched.

The one-act trap is made especially glaring by its recent successful navigation by the cryingly superior Get Out or even Ouija: Origins of Evil Re: Get Out (and yes, I’ll get to it at some point, and yes, I’ll tell you what happens), consider how Mr. Jordan Peele made the encroaching creepiness just creepy enough that the protagonist would stay; the audience knows, but doesn’t blame the character for being an idiot. You can’t consider it until I tell you what happens, but that’s a kind of considering.

In the case of The Cure For Wellness, it’s all old people warning you, and teeth falling out, and snakes in your eyeball. What’s it going to take, a toilet full of worms?

Ah. I see.

I have to put this somewhere. In order to make the locals scary, one of them says ‘Pendejo’. Except that the film takes place in Switzerland. They had to import their baddies?

If you lead with your big scares, you suddenly have a problem with the audience. This is stupid on below Shyamalan levels. As an offshoot of I(S)Q, it’s fine if the characters are stupid, it’s fine if there’s comically stupid. We do, however, need them to have mastered basic things like object recognition and word talking. If you’re reminding your heart to beat 72 times a minute, when are you going to have time to think? Hold on…gotta…hold on…there’s another one. Goddammit! How many times am I going to have to…goddammit!

What with two and a half hours to fill, the film runs out of stupid things for characters to do, and average things not to, and simply creates various dreams for Mr. DeHaan to be further warned about, not unlike Crimson Peak. We all know that Ms. Mia Goth bathing in snakes is going to make a good poster, but how to put it a film? A dream! It’s brilliant! I’m brilliant! That’s what my dream said. Let me tell you about my dreams!

The problem with the sojourns of fancy is not immediately evident. That’s the nature of film, a grand bamboozle. What we’re watching isn’t real, and in horror that’s probably for the best as we don’t look too closely. Plus it’s gross, and we don’t look to closely.

What we do need to know is whether we’re watching is real for the characters. If we’re not sure if what we’re watching is real or is just a dream, despite the fact that it is just dream, we won’t care. This is not so much a function of caring as generally spending time working stuff out – am I supposed to care?

In between the heartbeats of course.

The Take

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Profits!
‘Unequal to our gifts’ is a nice line. It has absolutely nothing to do with the film.
$1.00
I see films by Mr. Gore Verbinski, as he tends to be visually interesting, and, in the case of The Mexican, actually good. In fairness, his lenses were especially sharp, and I’ll take what I can get. The man understands light.
$3.00
It is so misinformed about the basics of film grammar, there is something to love about it.
$1.00
Total Profits
$5.00
Losses!
Things it seems, that we persist in doing —
Little girl singing
$1.00
The Locals Are Rapey
$1.00
Cops are in on it
$1.00
She’s………..his daughter!!!!!
$2.00
Well I’m in a dark room. I’ll be safe here when I light my cigarette…wha???????
$1.00
Things That Were Too Symbolic For Me To Understand —
Deer Trapped In A Sauna
$1.00
Fly Trapped In A Glass
$1.00
— I feel like there’s some kind of theme here!
Total Losses
$8.00

-$3.00

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