Infinity Pool Review- A Debaucherous Journey of Excess, Drugs, and Sensuality

Brandon Cronenberg is the son of legendary horror director David Cronenberg. He has a few films under his belt as well including, Infinity Pool. This film premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival to a myriad of different opinions. Cronenberg has taken over from his father with strange the types of films he likes to make. This one isn’t for the faint of heart but it’s also not that accessible for general audiences either. Like most of his father’s films.

James Foster (Alexander Skarsgard) is an author on vacation with his wife Em (Cleopatra Coleman) in an undisclosed Eastern European Country when they meet another couple Gabi (Mia Goth, X, Pearl) and her husband Alban (Jalil Lespart) They go out to dinner with them and eventually convince the couple to leave the secluded grounds of the resort they are staying at to go to a beach. The couple agrees and they borrow a man’s car. After a long day and night of drinking and partying, James decides he’s going to drive them back to the compound. On the way back he hits a farmer with the car crossing the dark and winding road. This starts him on a path he could never have foreseen.

The punishment in this country for killing another human being is death or if you have enough money you can pay the authorities off by having them create a double of yourself which then you can watch get killed in your place. This whole concept is strange to the Skarsgard character but he goes along with it anyway. And a little boy, the son of the farmer, proceeds to stab the double to death which gives him and his family a satisfactory conclusion to this ordeal. Anybody in their right mind would pack up and leave this country like the wife if the Skarsgards’ character wants to. Not him though he fakes losing his passport and tells her she must leave without him. And he’d be right behind her.

Cronenberg creates a series of events following the original death sequence that sends the Skarsgard character spiraling down into the world he never foresaw coming. Goths character has manipulated him into doing her bidding and she shows him her friends who are all in on this debaucherous adventure together. This film proceeds into a fever dream of drugs and wild sex and running around with masks on like  Eyes Wide Shut the Stanley Kubtick film from 1999. That was a little more straightforward than this though. I honestly didn’t know what was happening after the inciting incident but I liked it nonetheless.

Mis Goth has had a great past 10 months or so in her career. She starred in both X and Pearl by horror director Ti West. They both launched her career into superstardom. This film takes it to the next level as she goes places I never expected her character to go. She has a sinister side to her that was quite surprising. She was also very sensual and sexy. The way Cronenberg filmed her he wanted her to be a sex symbol and catch the eye of the Skarsgard character and the audience watching. She does just that. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her every time she was on screen. No matter if she was coming across as a nasty bitchy woman or not. She was just so perfect in this role.

On the other hand, Skarsgard was also in a big movie last year, The Northman, about a Viking seeking revenge for the death of his family, and a little indie film the year before in Passing where he played a racist abusive husband of a woman who was trying to pass as a white woman in the early 19th century. He goes in a completely different direction this time out. We as the viewer are watching the film from his perspective and what we see is pretty wild and crazy. He went where I don’t think many actors have gone before and I applaud him for this because it was cinematic gold. I loved every minute of the wild journey he goes on in this movie.

Infinity Pool premiered an NC-17 cut at the Sundance Film Festival and I couldn’t imagine this film getting wilder or crazier than the rated R version I watched but apparently it is. I’m satisfied with what I saw. Cronenberg brought me on a journey of debaucherous behavior and I loved every minute of it. The plot took twists and turns that were very interesting and the acting performances from Goth and Skarsgard were incredible. They both were mesmerizing and I couldn’t look away from either character while watching this fever dream of a film. There is a message about excess and don’t get into trouble in foreign countries but all that was on the outside as far as I was concerned. This is a film that won’t be for everybody but I loved every minute of it.

4 stars 

Dan Skip Allen

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