*Caution: This review contains spoilers for Infinity Pool.*
Have you ever left a movie theater feeling confused and uneasy about what you just watched? Infinity Pool, written and directed by Brandon Cronenberg, is a stylistically trippy film with an original story. The opening credits of Infinity Pool are designed to disorient and disconcert the viewer with dizzying camera work paired with unsettling music. Right off the bat, the film’s style makes the audience question what is real.
The film stars horror queen Mia Goth and Alexander Skarsgård. We follow Skarsgård’s character James, who is on vacation with his wife Em, played by the lovely Cleopatra Coleman. They’re staying at a luxurious resort in a fictional country that is beset by poverty and danger. This reflects the unfortunate reality of how luxurious resorts are often built on land that is home to disadvantaged communities. This theme both advances the plot and carries significance.
James meets Mia Goth’s character Gabi, who is also on vacation with her husband. We learn James is an author and Gabi happens to be a fan of his work. The two instantly connect, and the couples are later seen dining together while talking about their champagne problems. Initially, the story seems like your average White Lotus episode, but as the two couples spend more time together, things unravel in a very dark way.
The hotel guests are told that the country is too dangerous, and they are forbidden to leave the resort at any time. However, Gabi and her husband bypass this rule and rent a car from a local. They invite James and Em to leave the resort for an innocent day at the beach. After an event that occurs which is punishable by death, fearing for their lives, they do what rich people do best—flee the crime scene back to their posh lives.
The next day, James is arrested for his crimes. The government offers him a deal in which a clone of himself will be created and must die in his place. The premise raises ethical questions about the nature of identity and whether the death of a clone is equivelant to the death of a person who shares the same memories and feelings.
Infinity Pool is a thought-provoking experience
Infinity Pool becomes a commentary on the moral decay of the ultrarich, who have the ability to purchase their way out of consequences for their actions. This theme is further explored as James and his new acquaintance Gabi meet other wealthy individuals who have also experienced their own deaths. The group casually discusses whether they are the “real” versions of themselves or the clones, and one guest comments that it doesn’t matter.
The film takes a wild turn as the party becomes unhinged, with characters indulging in hallucinogenic drugs and engaging in an orgy. Cronenberg uses stylistic techniques such as kaleidoscope visuals, bright colors, and flashing lights to create a disorienting and unsettling atmosphere, leaving the audience questioning the reality of the situation and the true nature of the wealthy characters.
Brandon Cronenberg uses unconventional storytelling methods which keep audiences on their toes by introducing unexpected twists and turns. Just when the audience thinks they have a grasp on the story, Cronenberg introduces new elements that change the direction of the narrative, making for a more engaging and thought-provoking viewing experience.
Even after the credits roll, I found myself unsure, yet excited about what I had just witnessed. The person behind me seemed to share my reaction, but with more disgust, muttering, “That was strange, and I felt uncomfortable watching it.”
I believe the film is meant to be daring, taking you to unforeseen and disconcerting territories. It prompts reflection on life’s challenging questions and sheds light on the differences between social classes. Infinity Pool is a unique trip that all horror fans should indulge in and explore it’s proactive elements.