It’s ironic that we all work so hard for something that brings out the worst in us….
In theatres today, Infinity Pool which is the 3rd feature from writer/director Brandon Cronenberg takes us on a journey into the heart of darkness is that hedonistic mindset that we’re all so eager to explore….especially when we’re on vacation.
While staying at an isolated island resort, James (Alexander Skarsgård) and Em (Cleopatra Coleman) are enjoying a perfect vacation of pristine beaches, exceptional staff, and soaking up the sun. But guided by the seductive and mysterious Gabi (Mia Goth), they venture outside the resort grounds and find themselves in a culture filled with violence, hedonism, and untold horror. A tragic accident leaves them facing a zero tolerance policy for crime: either you’ll be executed, or, if you’re rich enough to afford it, you can watch yourself die instead.
Admittedly; Infinity Pool is as weird as you’d expect it to be, but in a shocking twist it may also be Brandon Cronenberg’ s most accessible film to date as we see how easily the extremes that excess can push the human spirit when they’re fed up of doing Crosswords and Sudoku’s while lying on the beach somewhere.
The comparisons to something like The White Lotus is actually quite apt if you layer in and amp up the nightmare of people just being the absolute worst to one another without any actual consequences to their actions.
As we get a myriad of freaky visuals and moments throughout, what Cronenberg does here is lets our minds run even wilder as the rich pastiche of excesses go across our eyeballs. It all makes for the right amount of crazy, but one that is still emotionally accessible as the screenplay (which we’ll admit has a couple of moments that you just have to “go with”) allows us to gets invested in these characters and some fantastic performances as there’s enough gonzo eye candy and engaging character work to go around.
Alexander Skarsgård never quite gets enough credit for being as good of an actor as he actually is. Here with his character James we get someone entirely empathetic while he’s simultaneously exploring his baser instincts. He represents both the fair and the foul of the human condition that this film is so deftly exploring because we want to be him but are also disgusted by him in a truly engaging moral dilemma that only gets us more engaged in the narrative.
The hypnotic Mia Goth can obviously do no wrong here as the mysterious siren Gabi who is leading him down the darker path with gleeful abandon from the get go. The rest of the ensemble is solid with the likes of Cleopatra Coleman as James’ moral compass and with fantastic players like Thomas Kretschmann along with Canada’s own John Ralston and Amanda Brugel taking us into the deep end of the proverbial pool in this story; it’ll be hard to look away.
At the end of the day, Infinity Pool just won’t be for everyone, it’s weird. That being said it’s the right kind of weird that promises to not only disturb you but get you thinking about what you do on your next vacation in all sorts of ways that you’d never expect.
- Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
- Release Date: 1/27/2023
- Directed by: Brandon Cronenberg
- Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Amanda Brugel, Cleopatra Coleman, Mia Goth
- Written by: Brandon Cronenberg
- Studio: Elevation, NEON, Topic
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