Review by Camden Ferrell
Brandon Cronenberg may be forever attached to the name of his legendary father David Cronenberg, but he has truly forged a unique path in his career. Much like his father, he has found ways to mesmerize audiences with disturbing imagery and body horror, most recently with films like 2020’s Possessor. His newest movie premiering this year at the Sundance Film Festival is no different. Infinity Pool revels in his signature depravity and graphic imagery as it tells a weird yet captivating story.
James and Em are a couple enjoying their luxurious beach vacation in an exotic country. All is well until they wander off the resort’s premises with a seductive and mysterious woman named Gabi. Very quickly, they are taken on a journey that will expose the violence and horror in the world they’re now in. While the set up might not be anything unheard of, this movie knows how to keep audiences guessing with an outlandishly weird story that remains unpredictable from start to finish.
Cronenberg’s writing is just as strong as it was on his previous film. His movies have never been masterclasses in dialogue, but they are still quite engaging and competent in that regard. He has an interesting way of crafting character interactions that feel relatable despite the increasingly disturbing circumstances of the film. His writing is able to briskly progress the story without sacrificing any tricks hidden up his sleeve.
The acting in this movie is superb. Led by Alexander Skarsgard, this movie gives the cast the unique opportunity to lose control and act out utter insanity. Skarsgard is no stranger to the weirder side of cinema, and this movie gave him an impressive opportunity to act within this disturbed and violent world. In addition to him, Mia Goth also gives an engaging and enigmatic performance as Gabi, the young woman who encourages James and Em to venture off the property.
The movie is just as violent, graphic, and disturbing as one could hope for. It perfectly captures the dizzying depravity the world has to offer. There is some utterly immersive imagery in this movie that is jarring and impossible to look away from. This is definitely a story that will alienate many viewers and is far from agreeable for a movie being released on this wide a scale. It has some slow moments and plot progression that could be executed better, but this is still an insane movie that audiences should remain open minded to.
Fans of Cronenberg style body horror are going to find at least one thing to enjoy about Infinity Pool. Even if the unorthodox story and graphic imagery don’t appeal to you, one could still appreciate the organized chaos of this world and the talent of all the actors who are able to bring it to life. This is another unique movie from Brandon Cronenberg that shows him quickly coming out from behind his father’s shadow.
Infinity Pool is in theaters January 27.