James and Em Foster are enjoying an all-inclusive beach vacation in the fictional island of La Tolqa, when a fatal accident exposes the resort’s perverse subculture of hedonistic tourism, reckless violence and surreal horrors. – (Source)
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 89% (Critics) / 53% (Audience)
MetaScore: 72 – Generally favorable reviews
Directed By: Brandon Cronenberg
Written By: Brandon Cronenberg
Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Mia Goth, Cleopatra Coleman
Mia Goth is a force of nature as an actress and she manages to add chameleon to her repertoire as she seamlessly shifts from ditzy trophy wife to seductress to emasculating harridan to manipulative leader of an elitist thrill cult. It is an impressive bit of acting on her part and just amazing how she can go from alluring to frightening in the no time.
Alexander Skarsgård does a really good job at playing what is essentially an unlikable spineless shell of a man who despite Skarsgård’s naturally intimidating presence (the guy is 6/4 and in great shape) manages to present a character who always comes off as smaller in stature as well in personality. His James is not an impressive man and Skarsgård conveys his weakness emotionally as well as physically.
I am a fan of what I now recognize as Brandon Cronenberg’s directing conceits. The trippy fever dream scenes and inventive use of sound are part of Cronenberg’s usual bag of tricks and he manages to make much better use of them in Infinity Pool than he did in Possessor in my estimation. In this movie they are much more seamless and integrated while I found it a bit jarring in Possessor.
The much talked about orgy scene is where this is really evident and I would say the way Cronenberg takes what starts out as sexy quickly turns it into a distorted horror show was an amazing directing feat. I also like how Cronenberg gave us a demented and nihilistic version of “eat the rich” concept as seen in a show like The White Lotus, showing how the rich treat these poor countries that are used as vacation destinations as their own private playgrounds where they can do anything they please without ever suffering any real consequences. And the twisted way that the idle rich get away with their putrid behavior is a clever and inventive surprise.
I really did feel that Clopatra Coleman’s Em was under-developed and I would’ve liked to have seen her be more involved in the film especially as a way to show just how horrific James’ association with his vacation friends was making him. As it was, James was a bland sad sack who then became a dickish sad sack but maybe having his wife around to witness his changing behavior would’ve given us more of an insight into just who the character was at his core.
I also couldn’t buy the idea that the fictional island of La Tolqa would allow itself to still be such a poor nation dependent on tourist money to keep itself afloat when they had the ability to do what they were able to do in this film. They could’ve sold that tech and become one of the richest countries on the planet.
I still don’t know if I was supposed to laugh at the bus hijacking scene but I found everything about it to be ridiculous and it was the one moment in the entire viewing experience of Infinity Pool that took me out of the movie for a bit.
Final Verdict: Infinity Pool is not for everyone and I expect it will be a love it or hate it type of film with no one landing in the middle. I enjoyed it though and feel that it is definitely worth a watch just to see the fine acting and directing mixed with what is one of the more original horror concepts I’ve seen in a while.
Loomis Rating: Infinity Pool gets 3 out of 4 Gun-Totin’ Dr. Loomis’