Right from the jump, as far as I’m concerned, Brandon Cronenberg is a 2 for 2 out of the movies I have now seen from him, with Possessor coming first, and now Infinity Pool. Much like his father David Cronenberg (The Fly, Crimes of the Future); I knew that going into this film, I was going to be in for a visual treat and a soundscape unlike most other horror films, and I was right. Infinity Pool begs the question, if money could give you a do-over for a crime you commit; what kind of trappings would that instill in your mind, and what would you do with such power if you had the opportunity?
Enter James (Alexander Skarsgård) and Em (Cleopatra Coleman) Foster, a seemingly wealthy couple vacationing overseas in a country called Lakota. James, a writer, has been encountering some writer's block, and was hoping a vacation far away from the civilization he knows would help jump start his next project. While attending a ceremony of sorts, James meets a woman named Gabi (Mia Goth), who claims to be a superfan of his work, and is in love with his ‘singular’ book even though it was a critical bomb overall. Gabi and her friend Alban go out to dinner with James and Em and both of them can see that there is some tension between James and Em when it comes to wealth, and invites them both to come out with them off the resort to get away from the confinement of the resort, and maybe that will get a spark of motivation lit for James. All four of them enjoy their time away, but unsuspectingly on the way back the situation takes a sharp left when James drives everyone home, and hits a pedestrian walking the street. Of course, they decide to leave the body and return to the resort shaken by what they had just experienced not knowing how to feel, or what to say.
James is thrust awake the next morning by some banging at his room door, and it’s the country’s police force insisting that they need to come with them. After going through some police procedure, James sits down with the detective who can indeed recount the entire situation because guess what, James’ wife was very ‘forthcoming’. As it turns out, there is a no tolerance policy for murder in the country of Lakota, and James has to choose from two options. Either he be put to death by the surviving child of the victim who was killed, or use his money for an alternative. What do you think he chose? To say anymore about this film would ruin what makes it special, and the amount of twists and turns you will progress throughout the duration of the nearly 2 hours is a thrill ride unlike any other.
Right from the beginning, we are treated to a nice warning message that alerts anyone who is sensitive to flashing lights that they will be spread throughout the film, and that’s no joke. The film wastes no time on setting us into a vortex of soundscapes with the eerily thumping bass, and slow spiraling camera moments insinuating that there is something sinister afoot. This vacation would not be like any other vacation I had seen in any medium, and to watch James and Em go along this journey with the insistent and seductive Gabi was enthralling. Mia Goth is completely in her element with her role here, and she keeps hitting home run after homerun through her horror escapades coming off of X, and Pearl. Alexander Skarsgård is no slouch either though, and is able to captivate with his distressful eye contact, and fearful nature on what will become of his time in their country.
Coming off of Possessor, which I absolutely adored; I was hesitant to see if Brandon Cronenberg could keep a consistent track record when it comes to cerebral science fiction horror, much like his father, but I was quickly swept away into Infinity Pool. You can definitely tell that he is his father’s son with this film, and the overall unique and horrific nature of this film was top notch in my opinion. Even after leaving the theater I am still thinking about this film, especially going to another country and being convicted of a crime (no thank you). I would say this is probably my favorite film of the year so far, but I could see how it may not be for everyone, especially with the flashing lights, and some of the imagery, but I feel like this film was made for me and my pallet, and I loved it from start to finish.
Total Score: 90/100
Written By: Dimitreus Newell