ByHeather Snowden, writer at
Lover of bad puns, nostalgic feels and all things Winona. Email: [email protected] Tweet: @heathbetweetin
Heather Snowden

If you're one of those deranged souls who, after sitting through Gore Verbinski's latest spine-chilling offering, A Cure for Wellness, thought, "you know what, I kind of feel like doing that to myself again," you're in good company. Because we felt like that too. Luckily for you then, we know exactly which movies should get your blood pumpin' and your body squirmin' in the same, uncomfortable manner — and we've put them all in a nice little list for you. Enjoy!

1. 'The Wicker Man' (1973)

'The Wicker Man' [Credit: British Lion Films]
'The Wicker Man' [Credit: British Lion Films]

What's it about? This chilling thriller circles the tale of a missing girl whose disappearance leads Constable Howie to the curious Scottish island of Summerisle, where he finds his investigation met with a population denying she ever existed. As he delves deeper into the strange town, he winds up in the midst of a pious nation dedicated to the art of pagan worship, and learns that the girl's evaporation may be central to an upcoming village festival, which is nowhere near as quaint as it sounds.

How is it similar to A Cure for Wellness? Brimming with suspense, gothic ambience and images that stay with you way past its conclusion, there are plenty of stylistic similarities between ACFR and The Wicker Man. However, perhaps the most obvious comparison initially is that in both movies are set a seemingly idyllic, close-knit community that is hiding nefarious plans.

2. 'The Master Cleanse' (2016)

What's it about? Horrors emerge from within in The Master Cleanse, which is literally about a three-day-cleanse with some absolutely brutal side effects. Here, a recently jilted Paul finds himself at a mountain-based spiritual retreat where he and his neighbors must consume jars of foul-tasting liquids that apparently drain their body of all toxins. Spoilers: the cleanse does not go as planned.

How is it similar to A Cure for Wellness? For starters, the mountain-based retreat's motto is "Let's Get Pure" and prides itself on having the similar agenda of trying to find a "cure" for modern conditions. As if that weren't enough of a connector for you, there's something deadly in the juices they're forced to drink during their stay, which (dun, dun, dun) is a major theme in Gore Verbinski's horror, too.

3. 'Safe' (1995)

'Safe' [Credit: Sony]
'Safe' [Credit: Sony]

What's it about? Starring Julianne Moore, Safe revolves around the life of her character, Carol White, who lives an almost Stepford wife existence — everything around her is pleasantly pretty, but it's distant and unfulfilling — until one day she develops MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity). At a loss for how to cure or treat her ailment, Carol seeks solace in a New Age religious retreat in the middle of the dessert and, to put it mildly, things do not go to plan.

How is it similar to A Cure for Wellness? Mostly because the leader of something that from the outside appears totally zen is eventually revealed to be a fascist psychopath.

See also:

4. 'The German Doctor' (2013)

What's it about? The "Angel of Death" a.k.a. Josef Mengele, a German officer and physician who carried out unthinkable human experiments on prisoners in Auschwitz, is in exile in Argentina and living under a new identity. Here he winds up moving into a family's hotel and caring for one of their children, a young girl who was born prematurely and has growth complications as a side affect — an act of care that takes a turn for the sinister pretty damn quickly.

How is it similar to A Cure for Wellness? Both movies center around "doctors" who perform hideous experiments on their patients in a bid to create "purity" — which by proxy means both movies are deeply, deeply, fucked up.

5. 'The Cabin In The Woods' (2012)

'The Cabin in the Woods' [Credit: Lionsgate]
'The Cabin in the Woods' [Credit: Lionsgate]

What's it about? A weekend away in the wilderness takes a turn for the demented for these collage kids who find themselves totally isolated and being systematically hunted down by a family of deadly zombies. Soon, however, these zombies become the least of their problems.

How is it similar to A Cure for Wellness? While these are pretty different movies, you can feel their tentacly Lovecraftian hooks slithering in and pulling you deeper into the haunting narratives. And, unlike many horror films, the potency of the satirical punch each film delivers doesn't truly hit you until a few days later, which is a definite sign of a top horror movie.

6. 'Death Spa' (1989)

What's it about? It's a (hilarious) tale of a gorgeous, demonic, jealous dead wife who is so enraged by the beautiful clients at her husband's gym she comes back to systematically posses them all with her evil spirit.

How is it similar to A Cure for Wellness? Well, it's not really — but it is about murder in a facility one usually associates with health, so that should be enough for you!

7. 'Rosemary's Baby' (1968)

'Rosemary's Baby' [Credit: Paramount Pictures]
'Rosemary's Baby' [Credit: Paramount Pictures]

What's it about? A happy, young, pregnant couple moving into a new apartment together, owning the whole relationship goals thing until interference from their oddball neighbors starts to tear them apart, and the safety of their unborn baby starts to cause a manic paranoia — with good reason.

How is it similar to A Cure for Wellness? Like Dane Dehaan's character, poor Rosemary (Mia Farrow) is made to feel like she's going insane as she's ostracized and victimized by the satanic cult operating in her apartment block.

Which movie will you be watching first?


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