Dane DeHaan stars in a scene from the movie "A Cure for Wellness." 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.(CNS photo/Fox)
NEW YORK (CNS) -- The Swiss spa that serves as the primary setting for the creepy, but otherwise pointless horror exercise "A Cure for Wellness" (Fox) operates, it seems, on the Hotel California plan.
As fans of the Eagles' 1977 hit will recall, that means, "you can check out anytime you like; but you can never leave."
The audience may pick up on this unusual policy well before the film's protagonist -- a junior Wall Street business executive the dialogue identifies only by his last name, Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) -- ever does.
Callous young Lockhart has been dispatched to the Alps to convince a higher-ranking colleague called Pembroke (Harry Groener) to break his recently announced resolution to make his stay at the resort permanent. There's a big merger in the works, and his fellow board members need Pembroke to sign off on it.
Corrupt machinations add urgency to Lockhart's mission since Pembroke is to be made the fall guy for Lockhart's own misdeeds in the lead up to the pending deal. Needless to say, rare is the capitalist who comes off well in a Hollywood movie these days.
Despite the soothing manner of the facility's director, Dr. Volmer (Jason Isaacs), Lockhart eventually discovers that something is profoundly amiss, and his own chances of ever departing the place are remote.