Thursday, June 22, 2017


Directed By: Gore Verbinski 
Written By: Justin Haythe 
Story By: Gore Verbinski & Justin Haythe 
Cinematography By: Bojan Bazelli 
Editor: Pete Beaudreau & Lance Pereira 

Cast: Dane Dehann, Mia Goth, Jason Issacs, Harry Groener, Carl Lumbly, Lisa Barnes

An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company's CEO from an idyllic but mysterious "wellness center" at a remote location in the Swiss Alps, but soon suspects that the spa's treatments are not what they seem.

This review will contain spoilers. As this is a film. To go best Into blind as much as you can to enjoy it to the max. So you have been warned if you haven't seen the film yet

The film has style for days. Though the story is a bit problematic. As it seems deeper than it actually ever goes.

It seems more of an art house mystery with a blockbuster movie budget. That allows for more visual indulgences which helps the film with an unorthodox vibe. That keeps the audience on it's toes.

It's a film most audiences will find strange. As it seems to want to present itself more as a gothic horror film, but soon finds it’s way to surreal psychological thriller. All the way into more of a scientific mystery with paranormal inclinations.

Dane DeHann gives a good performance and has the right look. Even if at times he seems a bit young for the leading role he is playing. Though as he is not an established star the film works with him in the lead as it leaves us thinking and knowing that anything can happen to his character. It doesn't have to end up with him surviving or being heroic at all.

The film is supposedly set in Switzerland, but it quickly becomes obvious it's main villainous characters are German. Not necessarily nazi's but easy to equate them with them. Enough so that they almost seem standby or out of central casting. Even though I am a fan of actor Jason Issacs whenever he is in a film. Usually as a villain.

The film is surprising and comes across stronger than expected, but the ending sells itself short.

By the end the film could have easily been 20 minutes shorter. Which would have left the movie with a darker strangely more satisfying ending. That would have made the film feel like an extended TALES FROM THE CRYPT inspired movie. Only without the humor as this film barely has any. It takes itself more seriously and less inspired from a pulpy or comic book tale. It almost storms feels HAMMER studios inspired with it's ties to history of a sort. As it comes across as an updated 1950's type Hollywood horror film. More suggested violence then actually shown.

The extended ending feels false and more general audience inspired. It also feels silly though adds more action and nudity. Though comes across as more hellbent and pushing a conspiracy angle harder. That really doesn't need to be there. Strangely for an indulgent film the ending doesn't feel that way just Unnecessary with a unintentional demented funny final shot.

The film does leave the viewer with many questions. As to the mystery of his driver who seems to always come off as willing to help. Though clearly is under the power of the institute. Just as we see everyone around in power taking the medicine. We wonder if they are more under a trance or are more willing accomplices. Then again we wonder by the end why do his bosses show up finally out of nowhere and seem hell bent on him going back to the burning institute.

Directed by Gore Verbinski who has shown many times he has quite the eye when it comes to visuals and direction. It all depends on the project and this coming after the successful PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN films as well as the animated RANGO, but also the massive flop THE LONE RANGER. This feels more like a return to form of his remake of THE RING. A down and dirty scary original tale. His own stab at a SHUTTER ISLAND type film.

I will give the film credit as we are constantly bombarded with what seems like the same old thing. This film at least offers something different and with a comfortable budget. It’s not strange just to be strange. It all goes along with the story naturally. The film also seems to show no fear to a degree to be itself


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