A Cure for Wellness (2016) Ending Explained

a cure for wellness ending explained

Last updated on April 5th, 2024 at 09:54 pm

A Cure for Wellness (2016) is a thriller mystery movie directed by Gore Verbinski. The movie includes many Lovecraftian elements that make the movie more suspenseful and intense. And the ending there left some questions about whose explanations could be the movie more enjoyable.

So, let’s begin with the plot story in a nutshell and after that, we discuss the ending.

A Cure for Wellness (2016) Plot Summary and Ending Explanation

* * * Spoiler Alert – If you haven’t seen the movie yet, turn back now! * * *

Lockhart is an executive at a financial service provider firm in NYC. The board of directors decides to send him to a wellness spa center in the Swiss Alps where the CEO of the firm, Roland Pembroke decides to stay there. Lockhart has been given the responsibility to bring back the CEO. The interesting part is that the spa center is treated its patients with water.

Lockhart goes to the spa. It was a clam and mysterious spa detached from the main locality. He tries to reach Pembroke but gets interrupted by Dr. Volmer. While leaving he is involved in a car accident and wakes after three days with a plastered leg at the ‘wellness center.’

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At the spa center, Lockhart meets a mysterious young girl named Hannah, who is a special patient of Dr. Volmer.

The patients are leading a life like some kind of vacation. They play, sing, dance, take a spa and use the swimming pool and many more. One day Lockhart tries to convince Pembroke to back to NYC but he strictly rejected it and wants to stay.

Middle of these, Lockhart knows a boogeyman past of the castle. Around 200 years back, a Baron was obsessed with continuing the generic superiority of his bloodline and married his sister. But the villagers did not take that easily and burned them with fire. Lockhart unintentionally finds out from another patient that the Baron’s sister who was burnt 200 years ago was pregnant. Lockhart seems not careless about the backstory of the castle.

Lockhart becomes suspicious when finds his leg is not broken, it was plastered to restrict leaving the place. Later several more incidents trigger his susception and he starts finding the mystery.

At one point, when the tangle unfolded, it became difficult to believe.

Dr. Volmer is none other than the 200 years old Baron. He succeeded to create a youth elixir from eels by feeding them the vigor of the human body. And Hannah is Dr. Volmer’s daughter. Volmer wants to continue his dream of staining genetic superiority.

After an expected ending-fight scene of the movie, Lockhart can kill Volmer and escapes the castle with Hannah.

In the last scene of the movie, a cruel smile is seeming on Lockhart’s face while cycling with Hannah, which raises a question about his true identity of Lockhart.

Why Does Lockhart Smile at The End of The Movie?

After watching that unexpected smile, the first thing that comes to mind is, maybe that is Dr. Volmer hiding behind Lockhart’s face mask. But that couldn’t be possible at all. Because there was no such power shown in Volmer to transform into another person.

Then why does Lockhart smiles in that creepy way?

Well, this is the most possible expression for that kind of character.

From the beginning, Lockhart is introduced as a desperate person for success and money. We get also a hint from the board of directors that Lockhart is not a clean employee of the firm. So, at the end of the movie when Lockhart gets a master formula of medical immortality then it is obvious that he would smile that way.

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What Do the Eels Signify in The Movie a Cure for Wellness?

Dr. Volmer turns into a creepy but genius scientist in the movie who successfully invented a youth elixir from Eels. He gets water from eels and purifies them to use. But this is not simple as it seems. Not every eel can give these elixirs, but one of the fishes is made usable through a time-consuming process.

These eels need to be feed human body parts and consume the desire vulgarly. Dr. Volmer arranges the spa in a rural place where patients are admitted and treated. But in reality, the whole process is for feeding the eels. When patients use a spa saloon, swim in the pool, or drink water, they have actually become the food of the eels.

In this way, the eels become a nightmarish element of the movie a cure for wellness.


Original Title A Cure for Wellness

Other Titles A Cura (Brazil)

Genre Horror/ Mystery/ Thriller

Runtime 02hr 26min

Original Language English

Directed by Gore Verbinski

Written by Justin Haythe, Gore Verbinski

Tagline All of us are human. None of us are immune.

Release date February 17, 2017 (USA)

Origin Country United States

Brainless Pen Rating!

Cast of Characters

Actor/Actress Name Characters Name
Dane DeHaan Lockhart
Mia Goth Hannah
Jason Isaacs Dr. Volmer
Harry Groener Pembroke

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