Infinity Pool (2023)

Infinity Pool (2023)

2023 R 118 Minutes

Science Fiction | Horror | Thriller

While staying at an isolated island resort, James and Em are enjoying a perfect vacation of pristine beaches, exceptional staff, and soaking up the sun. But guided by the seductive and mysterious G...

Overall Rating

7 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • d_riptide


    7 / 10
    If my reviews of X or Pearl didn’t hammer the point Home, let me condense this down to four simple words: MIA. GOTH. IS. TERRIFYING. So of course, I knew Infinity Pool was destined to be one release I couldn’t afford to miss. While I came for Mia, I ended up staying in this……hallucinogenic pool that’s easy to dive into but not too deep to keep you from coming out.

    We have a presentation that uses distorted lighting and shallow focus to condense an atmosphere that boards on claustrophobic and trippy at the same time and Brandon Cronenberg’s direction is one that is obviously self-conscious of those efforts. He goes surreal quickly, taking big risks and swinging hard with full confidence and it helps to have performers who not only embody the premise but are all-in on his vision. Alexander Skarsgard’s physically demanding performance is a riveting one to watch spiral but he can’t hold a candle to Mia Goth, who might as be officially branded the new scream queen of horror.

    Tim Heckers musical score is one that’s Insistent and heavy on freneticism and the soundtrack is deliciously dismal. And between Cinematography that relishes in condensed spaces and phantasmagoria-induced imagery, editing with concise transitions and rhythm, a production design with plentiful Clockwork Orange vibes and I’m convinced this was supposed to have a NC-17 rating. The amount of stuff Brandon got away with with an R-rating is a testament to the gift he has for making blood and guts look inventive and feel something more like it.

    There are many themes of hedonism, ego, control, privilege being tossed around that serves as yet ANOTHER satire of the ultra wealthy and irresponsible and it carries some provocative commentary on late capitalism but they all have one thing in common: say it with me, the destruction of good will itself. We’ve already proven ourselves to be the most dangerous animals on the planet but we all tend to have something of a moral compass keeping us from going off the deep end so what were to happen if you take that moral compass out the window? Similar to Possessor, Brandon interrogates what we think we know about human decency and the depravity and amorality that comes when we lose that, testing the boundaries of comfort and accountability while exploring the human mind in…..uneasily playful fashion.

    Sure, it pretty much sums up to the Joker’s mantra; having unlikable characters dance and toy around with how the world works in an attempt to preserve their sanity…..but that’s still part of the point. Using insanity to escape any perpetual trauma and prove anyone can give up their sense of morality after one bad day.

    More times often than not though, it feels like Cronenberg is purely experimenting with this controlled chaos, however, without diving too deep. Yes, it’s a glorified death loop that’s meant to serve as a chronicle of one’s descent into madness but what else comes out of that? If this was meant to be an intellectual exercise, not only do you become numb to it after a while, the story ain’t all that cohesive to start with. The characters themselves BARELY have a personality or quirk to set them apart, stakes are minimal, there’s some sexualization that feels gratuitous and violence that feels fetishized, most of the plot can feel aimless even if you have the artistic bug and, to put it nicely, the payoff to all of this is…..

    ….it’s questionable.

    Now I could say that this was an X-rated type of romp that had me easily clutching my Pearls until the end….or I can tell you guys the truth. And the truth is this is the work of an artist who knows what and how to get his point across but, more often than not, gets stuck in his own head a little. It does nothing to change how Brandon Cronenberg is definitely coming into his own as a director and filmmaker on his own terms, squeegeeing out of his fathers shadow.