Infinity Pool is Brandon Cronenberg’s latest dive into his carefully carved niche of sci-fi horror. Capitalizing on steam generated from his previous entry Possessor, Infinity Pool features renowned scream queen Mia Goth (X, Pearl) and Swedish sensation Alexander Skarsgård (The Northman) as leading roles with a star-studded supporting cast in tow. The film focuses on a tortured writer looking for inspiration by taking a trip with his wife to a resort in a small island country, rich with tradition and culture. Events take quite a turn when they mingle with a mysterious couple and an unfortunate accident forces them to confront their own mortality. Thrown into a world of sex, drugs, and debauchery, morals and identity are faced head-on in a struggle for survival of self.
Where could I even start with Infinity Pool? This film is an acid trip from start to finish plunging the viewer into a chaotic world of hedonistic rage-fueled passion. The plot stays visible and linear through the smearing of indulgence, serving as some sort of beacon to guide you through. Performances by Mia Goth and Alexander Skarsgård anchor this film and pave the way for some of the more unhinged moments throughout. What more is there to say about Mia Goth? I truly believe she is one of the best working actresses in Hollywood and she entrenched herself deeply in horror. This is yet another homerun in her rapidly expanding catalog (Give the woman credit; I’m looking at you, Academy). Brandon Cronenberg exists in a space where hardly anyone else dares trod, and he thrives there. Elements of his father’s style bleed through in his work but sharp originality remains above all. Infinity Pool proudly exists in a world on its own.
Infinity Pool poses an age-old philosophical quandary
Lately, we have seen many films tackle the ever-present “Eat the Rich” phenomenon. The Menu, Triangle of Sadness, and Glass Onion all find themselves expressing these tropes and all in unique and satisfying ways. At a surface level, Infinity Pool can be taken the same way. The idea of there being no true consequences for the wealthy while they toil away in their worldly playground is staged throughout. However, there are layers to this film beyond the tropes. Infinity Pool is more of a study of the human psyche, of identity and where it lies, and most importantly, about the capability of oneself to do heinous acts if given a little nudge. One of my favorite philosophical conundrums is personal identity. Studied by English ponderer John Locke and Frenchman Renè Descartes, it is the question of what makes you yourself. Do you exist in your physical body, your soul, your mind, or your memories? Cronenberg toys with this idea, making the characters in Infinity Pool question themselves just as much as the audience is questioning them. Where do they end and are they still the same as where we first encountered them? It also aggressively delves into the limits of someone and what a simple push in one wrong direction will make someone do, the shattering of the human spirit and psyche.
Infinity Pool is not without flaws. It’s very long-winded and redundant. It makes its point and then makes it a few more times for good measure. Trimming a bit of the overindulgent visuals and overstated points would leave it feeling a little crisper. While the two main characters are completely and fully fleshed out (no pun intended), the other characters do feel left by the wayside and underutilized. Mostly though, Infinity Pool is not a movie made for everyone, and many will not like it at all. Going into this film expecting anything and having a completely open mind is paramount to your level of enjoyment. Even then, the Cronenbergs are an acquired taste, but one many people have grown a strong craving for.
All in all, if you’re prepared to let your mind go for a few hours and travel into the weird and wonderful world of Brandon Cronenburg’s brain, buckle up and go check out Infinity Pool in theaters across the country. It is creative, visually stunning, and much like an infinity pool, it will play tricks on your eyes and mind.
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