I am surprised someone is not being sued for copyright infringement here, but considering both movies were released the same month, it could be one large coincidence.
Spoilers below, if you haven’t seen both movies yet and you want to, you shouldn’t read further:
Both feature a similar general plot but it doesn’t stop there: Protagonist is sent to secluded large estate in the rural countryside, where he then notices strange things are going on, and eventually there is a twist where the hosts aren’t entirely what they seem.
-Both Chris and Lockhart are initially under the illusion they can leave the estate at any time, when the hosts have cruel experiments planned for them.
-Emphasis on Lockhart making quick business deals establishing him as a successful yet brash executive. Next scene: he is told by his boss to go the estate.
-Montage of photographs and a shot of a high-quality camera in Chris’s apartment establishing him as an ambitious photographer. Next scene: his girlfriend arrives preparing for the trip to the estate.
-Lockhart is a smoker trying to quit, chowing down Nicorette gum. He eventually lights up a cigarette in the estate to ease his stress.
-Chris is a smoker trying to quit. He eventually walks outside and attempts to smoke a cigarette to ease his stress.
Protagonist’s mother subplots:
-Lockhart visits his mother in a nursing home, where she tells him “why would I be happy? People come here to die.” Lockhart appears regretful and assures her he’s due for a raise and will move her out of there. Lockhart’s father wasn’t in the picture.
-Chris regrets not saving his mother when he was younger, which he feels led to her death. Chris’s father wasn’t in the picture. Chris attempts to rectify his guilt over his mother by going back for Georgina at the end.
-Rose (Chris’s girlfriend) hits a deer while driving to her family’s estate.
-Lockhart’s driver hits a moose while traveling from the first visit to the Wellness Center.
-Dr. Volmer tells Lockhart, “I should hunt the moose on the property, but I can’t bring myself to kill an innocent animal. After all, they were here long before us.”
-Dean (Rose’s father, the host) tells Chris, “I do not like the deer; I’m sick of it, they’re taking over, they’re like rats, they’re destroying the ecosystem. I see a dead deer on the side of the road and I think ‘That’s a start’.”
-Moose is referenced throughout: including Lockhart seeing a Moose head mounted on the wall and ghostly images of the moose. The accident was possibly planned to get Lockhart back to the center.
-Deer is referenced throughout: Chris seeing deer head mounted on the wall, he [kills Dean with a deer head]#Spoiler and (there’s even a deleted scene when Chris sees the ghost-deer in the sunken place). Hitting the deer was possibly planned.
-Lockhart meets Watkins and other guests, who seem to be enjoying their stay at the center, but Lockhart notices something is off about them.
-Chris meets Georgina and Walter, who seem to be enjoying their stay at the Armitage house, but Chris notices something is off about them.
-Lockhart spots Hannah, who stands out from the rest of the patients being young amongst the rest of the patients who are elderly, and Lockhart feels he found someone with whom he can relate, but after a conversation realizes something is off about her.
-Chris spots Logan, who stands out from the rest being the only black guy surrounded by white guests, and Chris feels he found someone with whom he can relate, but after a conversation realizes something is off about him.
-Lockhart initially agrees to allow the Dr. Volmer perform the first procedure on him: being in the tank of water to detoxify his body, which set off the chain of events to Lockhart being essentially stuck there.
-Chris was initially swayed into allowing Missy to perform the hypnosis on him and be brought to the sunken place, which led to Chris being stuck there, so to speak.
-Note: Lockhart dropping to the bottom of the tank, surrounded by eels, having already lost his oxygen mask and unable to breath, looking up to the top of the tank and drifting further from it, was essentially Lockhart’s “sunken place” – very similar to Chris’s “sunken place” falling down into blackness, looking up toward the real world, trying to claw his way up there, but only drifting further from it. Both characters “wake up” after these incidents with no detailed recollection of their escape.
-Chris temporarily exposes Logan’s “real-self” by snapping his picture with the flash on. This causes Logan’s nose to bleed.
-Lockhart temporarily exposes Hannah’s “real-self” by escaping the estate to the bar (where she’s exposed to real-world elements like discovering makeup for the first time). This causes Hannah to bleed by having her first period.
-Lockhart performs detective work by stealing Pembroke’s medical files, where he discovers his history and his location in the Wellness Center.
-Rod, Chris’s friend, does his own detective work on the Internet finding out Logan’s real identity and eventually goes to the police.
-Lockhart snoops around the estate, sneaking into restricted areas he doesn’t belong, where he discovering secret projects about the center, where he is eventually confronted by Dr. Volmer and staff, where is he prevented from leaving, and is bound and shackled.
-Chris snoops around alone upstairs, while, unbeknownst to him, the guests are peering up from below since he’s the reason they’re there; Chris discovers suspicious things such as his phone being off the charger or off, and later on, pictures in a closet; he is then confronted by the Armitage family, prevented from leaving, hypnotized to lose consciousness, and bound and shackled.
-Lockhart is forcibly restrained to the chair being bound my his hands/feet prior to the dental procedure.
-Chris is forcibly restrained to the chair being bound by his hands/feet prior to the planned neurological procedure.
!Major Spoiler Alert!:
-Twist: Lockhart finds a picture in which he shockingly discovers Dr. Volmer is the Baron who impregnated his sister 200 years ago, and Hannah may his offspring.
-Twist: Chris discovers several pictures in Rose’s closet of her with many black boyfriends (and one with Georgina), where he discovers Rose intentions aren’t entirely innocent.
-Lockhart discovered the “truth” in the nick of time, right when Dr. Volmer was attempting to rape a bound Hannah.
-Chris escaped in the nick of time, right when the planned surgical procedure on him had begun.
-Note: Chris snuck cotton in his ears to avoid hearing the hypnosis chime, and was able to escape. Lockhart accomplished the climactic tasks by working through being drugged, while Chris accomplished his by avoiding it.
-Both estates had begun to burn in a fire prior the protagonists escape.
-Upon Lockhart’s exit, he is hit by a car. To his surprise, it’s his boss from work.
-Upon Chris’s exit, a car pulls up, to his surprise, it’s his best friend Rod.
-The Wellness Center’s methods were continued by events 200 years ago, in which a mad Baron (guess who) wanted to have offspring with his own sister as he was convinced of his own genetic superiority and wanted to keep the bloodline pure. The sister died after their child was born, and eventually, he’d create an elixir that slows the aging process, which drew in rich white elderly folks.
-The Armitage’s methods were continued by Rose’s grandfather, who was an Olympic racer once beaten by a black man, and “never got over it,” and thus was convinced of the genetic physical superiority of black bodies; he’d eventually create a surgical procedure to place the white brain inside the black body, which drew in the rich white liberal elitists.
“A Cure for Wellness” is the more expensive and visually impressive of the two, but “Get Out” is a near masterpiece with the more compelling story, despite its low budget.
“Get Out” can be conjured from the screenplay from “A Cure for Wellness” if you cut out all the unnecessary slow-moving aspects of the plot into a 100-minute movie. Both plot motifs are similar though, and the racial commentary in “Get Out” was superbly used within this motif.
Still, it makes me wonder what “Get Out” would’ve been like with the budget of “A Cure for Wellness.”