Director Brandon Cronenberg has been a bit of a powerhouse with his unique blend of extremely heady concepts, over-the-top violence & gore, rating-pushing sexuality, and Canadian body horror that his father essentially paved the way for. But instead of following in his father’s shadow, Brandon has proven with three very distinct feature films that he has his own voice & identity in the genre circuit. His newest offering, “Infinity Pool” is yet another wonderful addition to his belt of tricks.
“Infinity Pool” tells the story of James & Em (Alexander Skarsgard & Cleopatra Coleman), a rather wealthy couple who are vacationing to an all-inclusive beach resort in the fictional island of La Tolqa. It has beautiful beaches, magazine worthy food, and just about everything you could want for a limited stay, but they are a bit bored. It’s not long until they encounter the mysterious Gabi & Alban (Mia Goth & Jalil Lespert) who invite them beyond the allowed boundaries of the resort for a day on a prohibited beach. After an unfortunate accident throws a kink into their plans, they are exposed to the nation’s perverse subculture of hedonistic tourism & wealthy debauchery. Things only grow progressively weirder and more violent as the next few days unfold.
In a big scene that essentially turns the movie around, our 4 main characters are arrested. When they are interviewed by the detective at the station, he reveals that their country allows two certain things to happen: 1.) ‘an eye for an eye’ is the expected way of life, and 2.) if you are a wealthy tourist, you can essentially clone yourself and force your clone to pay the price in your place with the only stipulation being that you must be present to witness whatever happens to them.
This film turns into a giant game of multiple identity crisis, privileged recklessness, and absurd hallucinations. Alex Skarsgard is a great and permeable lead actor who allows the audience in, while still feeling natural. Mia Goth on the other hand is absolutely bold and fearless – including some strongly seductive elements and some insane range in her acting vocabulary. All of the other actors are very serviceable in their roles, but there’s a reason these 2 are the largest names on the posters. The energy between them is electric and it morphs into some very strange shapes.
Out of all of this director’s catalog, this is easily his most accessible story because it’s rather to-the-point, instead of something like ‘Possessor’ which is an absolute mind-melter. This movie is scary in a sense of allowing you to question what life means to an individual, the power of peer pressure, the nuisance of prosperity, and so much more. It’s an adrenaline-fueled ride that shakes your senses from the beginning and only further disorients you the longer it goes on. By the end, you may possibly emerge from the viewing as a totally different person.
You’ll question what you are watching, what you are feeling, and if it’s okay if you feel a strange combination of those two answers at any given time.
“Infinity Pool” is currently available to rent/buy on VOD.
‘Til Next Time,
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