Infinity Pool 2023 Movie Review: Some people will love it, others will hate it

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Infinity Pool 2023 Movie Review

Director: Brandon Cronenberg

Cast: Alexander Skarsgård, Mia Goth, and Cleopatra Coleman

Cinematography: Karim Hussain

Music: Tim Hecker

Editing: James Vandewater

Streaming: Prime Video

Synopsis:

Guided by a seductive and mysterious woman, a couple on vacation venture outside the resort grounds and find themselves in a culture filled with violence, hedonism, and untold horror.

A tragic accident soon leaves them facing a zero-tolerance policy for a crime: either you’ll be executed, or, if you’re rich enough to afford it, you can watch yourself die instead.

Infinity Pool 2023 Movie Review:

Writer James Foster and his wife are holidaying in a beautiful yet corrupt and barbaric country when they befriend another couple. On their way home from a day of picnicking James hits and kills a local farmer with the car.

He is arrested and sentenced to be executed by the farmer’s son. However, there is a way out of this predicament. Reading the plot summaries of this it seemed like it was going to be a pretentious arthouse film.

When I discovered that it is written and directed by Brandon Cronenberg, son of David Cronenberg, I was convinced that this would be a weird-for-weirdness-sake arthouse flick.

To my surprise, however, the film starts quite interestingly and engagingly and develops quite well. There are some artsy scenes, largely drugged-out dream sequences, so we aren’t spared that but for the most part, the first 60-70% of the film is quite good.

Infinity Pool 2023 Movie
Infinity Pool 2023 Movie Review

The clone idea, its uses and abuses, and its effect on James Foster were fascinating and I figured this would be the thrust of the remainder of the film.

When I discovered that it is written and directed by Brandon Cronenberg, son of David Cronenberg, I was convinced that this would be a weird-for-weirdness-sake arthouse flick.

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To my surprise, however, the film starts quite interestingly and engagingly and develops quite well. There are some artsy scenes, largely drugged-out dream sequences, so we aren’t spared that but for the most part, the first 60-70% of the film is quite good.

The clone idea, its uses and abuses, and its effect on James Foster were fascinating and I figured this would be the thrust of the remainder of the film.

I was running over in my mind where the film could go from there and most of the possibilities were quite exciting. However, instead of going down one of these paths, Cronenberg chooses a lesser one, one that lives up to the expectation I had at the beginning of pretentious mindscrewery. Quite disappointing as the film seemed to set up for a powerful, thrilling climax.

Infinity Pool 2023 Movie Review
Infinity Pool 2023 Movie Review

This film had the potential to be something new and creative in the horror genre, but writer/ director Brandon Cronenberg settles for more of the same of his usual style with little in the way of an understanding of why these events are occurring or even caring that they are happening.

Now, I am a fan of his. Antiviral and Possessor are fantastic films that benefit from his particular brand of trippy visuals and existential analysis. The difference between those films and his latest effort is he does little to help build tension and nothing to make us care for any of the characters he has written. They are all terrible people, not one of them worth redemption.

All the acting is very well done, Mia Goth is always a sure bet when playing a sinister crazy person. Alexander SkarsOrd, unfortunately, isn’t given enough material here to truly shine in his role.

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He’s a practically one-dimensional shell of a character, and that is one of the main reasons the film did not work for me. I felt nothing for his character, and the character makes some of the worst decisions I’ve seen on film.

Barely any of the films makes sense if I’m being honest. Best not to ask why to any of the questions you have because, more than likely, they will not be answered. Seriously, the movie will bring up a point and then completely ditch it the next minute.

Infinity Pool 2023 Movie Review
Infinity Pool 2023 Movie Review

It was a frustrating watching experience. Then we come to the end. Wtf was that? Does he just decide to stay? Why? Everybody left! There was nothing left to do, why would he not go home himself? Also, he didn’t even try to get even with the people who just destroyed his entire life for their amusement.

Then what was the purpose of any of this story? It didn’t have one from what I could tell. Disappointing. The music works perfectly and sets the tone from the start.

The locations and setting are stunning and complement the distinct cinematography that impressed me throughout the movie. The atmosphere of the idyllic resort is beautifully immersive and adds a lot to the dread and isolation of being in an unfamiliar country experiencing chaos.

Verdict:

Infinity Pool is a mess of a movie. Within that mess hints at something good, possibly great, but Cronenberg seems to be too in love with the idea of creating something off-kilter more than telling an actual story.

Alexander Skarsgård’s performance is passable as a man lost in hedonism, while Mia Goth’s unhinged insanity somehow fluctuates between amazing and downright lousy.

Lacking the usual amount of body, horror audiences have come to expect from the name Cronenberg, this film instead chooses to skate by on its ambiance, which doesn’t always work in its favor.

Raj Shekar

“I would travel down to hell and wrestle a film away from the devil if it was necessary.” “when people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, ‘no, I went to films’.”