Brandon Cronenberg’s Infinity Pool may not be for everyone, but it is a great choice if you like your genre films raw.
PLOT: A tourist (Alexander Skarsgard) visiting an unstable, totalitarian country accidentally kills someone in an auto accident. He is sentenced to death, but soon discovers that he can get a clone to take his place at the right price. Soon, he falls in with a maniacal group of affluent tourists who’ve taken advantage of this fact to engage in wild acts of hedonism and violence.
REVIEW: To say Infinity Pool is not for the faint of heart is an understatement. One could have said the same thing about director Brandon Cronenberg’s last movie, Possessor, but the extreme violence and sex on display here go beyond anything shown in that film. It may be difficult for those who see it in theaters this week to understand why it is so controversial. However, they will be watching a R-rated, censored cut. Sundance’s version is the one that was originally tagged with an NC-17 by the MPAA. It’s provocative work that’s just as disturbing as anything Brandon’s father, David Cronenberg. He is a good example of how to portray the human depravity at its worst, but he doesn’t show too much body horror. Cronenberg will undoubtedly be compared to his father, but he has always done his thing with their visuals, music and music. Cronenberg’s movies are often shot to look (intentionally) austere with classical music by Howard Shore. Brandon, however, is more stylized and has his DP Karim Hussein.
Depravity is everywhere in
Infinity pool. Alexander Skarsgard plays the role of a failed novelist who is on vacation with his wealthy wife (Cleopatra Coleman). She subtly mocks him because he is an author. He’s an easy mark for the libertine couple in this, played by Jalil Lespert, and, in a tour-de-force performance, Mia Goth at her most deliciously unhinged.Once the film’s hook comes into play,
Infinity Pool ventures into pretty cerebral sci-fi territory, would you take advantage of this fact if you could do whatever you wanted and have a clone pay for your misdeeds? Even if the clone is essentially you, it has all your memories. Cronenberg’s film presents a group that takes delight in not having to obey any law or sense of morality, with the notion that they would become monsters once freed of consequences.It adds up to a highly compelling piece of science fiction with enough gore to satisfy horror fans. Beautifully shot in Croatia, it’s masterfully made, and if
Possessor hasn’t already established Brandon Cronenberg as a significant new player in the genre world, this will.Alexander Skarsgard is terrific as the vacuous, the ultimately amoral protagonist. He is a role that is completely opposite to his appearance. His physical stature and appearance are a mask for his character’s lack of scruples or courage. He is fantastic in it, but MiaGoth steals
Infinity pool10 as the unhinged Gabi. Goth is a maximalist like Nicolas Cage. She isn’t afraid to take on a role and is the perfect choice for the role of the terrifying and alluring Gabi. Skarsgard and she are the movie’s main focus, but Coleman, in a smaller role, adds some humanity to the film. That said, she’s the only one whose character could be called humane.Infinity Pool
will undoubtedly be a love-it-or-hate-it kind of movie, and it will no doubt be too much for a big chunk of folks. Cronenberg is a future midnight classic for those who love to push the boundaries in this type of movie. Hopefully, the R-rated cut will only lessen the film’s impact a little because even though it’s going out censored, it deserves to be seen on a big screen.8