Though best known for helming the first three films of the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Gore Verbinski arguably made his first big mark directing The Ring (2002), which paved the way for subsequent Japanese-to-American horror flicks like The Grudge and Dark Water. Verbinski was praised for his ability to lead a dark, disturbing storyline without relying too heavily on gore, and the film is still regarded as one of the most chilling flicks to hit the 2000s.
Now, over a decade after The Ring haunted screens, Verbinski will make his long-awaited return to horror with A Cure for Wellness, a psychological thriller due out Feb. 17. Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) stars as a young executive sent to retrieve his boss from a seemingly idyllic wellness center in the Swiss Alps, where he soon discovers something much more sinister at play. Also appearing are Mia Goth (Nymphomanic Vol. II), Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter), Adrian Schiller (The Danish Girl), and Celia Amrie (Bridget Jones’s Baby).
The first trailer for the film arrived in late October, and now an international trailer has popped up online. The second glimpse is shorter but more heart-pounding, featuring Goth bathing in a tub of what appear to be eels or snakes as an eerie, drawn out lullaby plays on. It then whips through a whirlwind of hair-raising images, including a room of floating bodies, a strange, antlered creature, a blazing fire, and another pool of eels.
It doesn’t offer much in the way of concrete details, but paired with the initial trailer, the plot begins to come together. It seems to combine the popular horror settings of hospitals and mental asylums, in the way that the wellness center is both a medical-like hub and a place where people are seemingly kept against their will—or at the very least under the assumption that they need to be there for their own good. As the synopsis teases, DeHaan’s character, Mr. Lockhart, “finds himself diagnosed with the same curious illness that keeps all the guests there longing for the cure.”
A Cure For Wellness also appears to take inspiration from the BioShock adaptation Verbinski was plotting back in 2008. He was never able to get it off the ground, but there’s a parallel to be made between the game’s underwater utopia and genetic experimentation—two concepts hinted at in the Cure for Wellness trailer. Whether there’s some carryover or not, A Cure for Wellness looks like an amalgamation of classic horror tropes and dystopian terror, which sounds both fresh and thrilling. Here’s to hoping Verbinski can recreate the magic that made The Ring so spine-chilling.
Source: 20th Century Fox
- A Cure for Wellness (2017) release date: Feb 17, 2017