Any movie that proclaims itself to be a psychological horror thriller has a lot to live up to, but A Cure for Wellness might well fit the bill on all three charges. The star of this feature in Mia Goth, which debuted last week on February 17, is accustomed to unusual films that push the boundaries having earned her start through Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac Vol. II.
The British-Brazilian though gave a stunning admission to Screen Crush with one scene in particular, noting how far filmmaker Gore Verbinski wanted to push the limits on the horror installment. The movie follows stock broker Lockhart who travels to a Swiss spa, only to encounter Goth's Hanna who hums an unnerving tune before all chaos ensues.
Unique Picture Stands On Its Own Two Feet
Quizzed if the director had any reference points for old horror classics to call from, Goth drew one brief parallel before stating that Verbinski was out to make something of his own accord.
"The Shining a little bit, but not so much," she remarked. "He really did want to make an original film. But he didn’t give out many references. He was very proud of the fact that it is a very original film because it’s not based on a book, it’s not a spinoff, it’s not a sequel... So he just wanted to put his own mark on it and I think he achieved that really well."
Calling on his history with the genre, Goth argued that she was in safe hands and in an environment to learn from the best.
"I learned a lot. It was exciting for me too," she mentioned. "You know, he helped define the genre back with The Ring. And so to just listen to him and see how he works, a lot of the crew that he had for (A) Cure For Wellness he’s worked with for a long time. So they were sort of a family already. Him and Bojan (Bazelli) who’s the cinematographer who also did The Ring, they had a great relationship. They didn’t really have to communicate much to understand what each other’s thinking. So to kind of see that and see how he’s able to operate such a, I felt, big movie and stay so calm and centered. I learned a lot, it was impressive to watch."
Gothic Goth Ventures Into Uncomfortable Territory
As the posters illustrate, Goth is placed under water for long periods of time to portray a mythic figure. What was that experience like?
"Oh yeah. That was cool. I’ve never done anything like that before. That’s one of the great things about this job, is that you’re always getting to try new things and have new experiences. It was difficult at times, you have to really train yourself. That was cool too because we had these water training sessions where we would learn how to hold our breath under the water for a long time. I got up to a minute and thirty at one point. You kind of go into this meditation kind of state when you’re under water."
Yet it would be that moment in the bath naked with a plethora of eels that was a scene stealer. Surely that was all CGI, right?
"Those are real eels!" she said. "But they made a cast, like a mold, of my lower half. Then I had to stay in a very odd position for a few hours. Then I would drink a Coca-Cola or watch a movie and I couldn’t scratch my nose. It is just very uncomfortable.... it’s kind of a process I really didn’t understand because the upper half is me. Then they put the eels with the cast and they did CGI and made it pretty believable."