“A Cure for Wellness” (Fox)
By Catholic News Service
Creepy, but otherwise pointless horror exercise in which a Wall Street business executive (Dane DeHaan) is dispatched to a Swiss spa to convince a higher-ranking colleague (Harry Groener) who has mysteriously decided to remain there permanently that he must instead return to headquarters to sign off on a big pending merger. As the young wheeler-dealer eventually discovers, however, despite the soothing manner of the resort’s proprietor (Jason Isaacs), something is profoundly amiss, and his own chances of ever leaving the place are remote.
Working from a script by Justin Haythe, director Gore Verbinski effectively conjures up a sinister atmosphere. But as things go from unsettling to gothic and then become downright lurid via plot developments involving the hotelier’s daughter (Mia Goth), viewers will increasingly wonder why they’ve subjected themselves to this ultimately hellish, hallucination-ridden journey. In fact, as its logically unsatisfying wrap-up approaches, the film hovers on the border of the offensive.
Some gory violence, a scene of torture, strong sexual content including a graphic incestuous assault and masturbation, much nudity in a nonsexual context, a couple of uses of profanity, about a dozen instances each of rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.