Infinity Pool – Horror Review

2023117 MinN/A

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.

Movie Review

Welcome to Knockout Horror and to another Horror Movie Review. Today we are looking at Brandon Cronenberg’s sexually charged Sci-Fi horror: Infinity Pool. I really want to keep this review rather short. Everything that needs to be said about this movie has already been said. I don’t think I can add anything substantial, outside of giving my opinion. This is a movie that gained enormous traction and has been reviewed to death.

Infinity Pool Horror Movie Review

Still, it is a popular movie that has proved somewhat divisive with audiences. It absolutely deserves its place on any horror movie review site. So we are going to take a look. Continuing the legacy of his father David. Brandon Cronenberg attempts to build on the huge success of Possessor. Eventually falling somewhere in between that and his earlier movie Antiviral. Infinity Pool is about as weird and depraved as you may expect. Let’s get to the review.

Infinity Pool – Science Fiction Horror

Infinity Pool follows couple James and Em Foster. James is a struggling novelist. Looking for inspiration, the pair head off on holiday. While there, they meet a young woman called Gabi. Gabi claims to be a fan of James’ writing. Inviting the couple to accompany her to dinner. The group end up spending the day together at the beach. While there, they become intoxicated. Deciding to drive home regardless of their drunken state. The group’s lives are turned around when James hits an unsuspecting villager with the car.

Infinity Pool Horror Movie Review

The first thing that is, perhaps, necessary to point out about Infinity Pool. Is its strangeness. This isn’t a movie for everyone. despite the positive critical reception it has received. Brandon Cronenberg falls victim to many of the over indulgences of his father. A propensity for abstract camera angles, gratuitous sexualisation and graphic violence. All stand as themes that will split viewers right down the middle.

Some will love just how bizarre and ridiculous these movies feel. Others will find them a dull, over stylised, over hyped, chore. Drowning in the excesses of their mad scientist creator. However you feel about David or Brandon Cronenberg’s movies. Infinity Pool will not change your mind. I stand somewhere in the middle. Able to appreciate the pros while acknowledging the cons. Infinity Pool is a movie I really enjoyed. But I can, absolutely, see how it will simply not appeal to some.

Infinity Pool – Graphic, Disturbing Themes

Feeling like a fairly typical horror to start with. Infinity Pool quickly injects the story with science fiction based themes. Themes that, despite their ridiculous nature, seem rooted in the here and now. Whereas Antiviral presented its science fiction themes in a sanitised, bright white, manner. Complete with a believable near future look. Infinity Pool feels dirty and a little bit gritty. The luxury holiday resort the group are spending time at is stunning. But it hides a corrupt and impoverished country. Replete with the societal issues that come along with that and a draconian system of law.

Infinity Pool Horror Movie Review

Acting as something of a social commentary on the contrast between the rich and the poor. This is a movie keen to explore the way the latter suffers for the excesses of the former. Infinity Pool has some important things to say but doesn’t quite know how to say them. Instead choosing to drag the viewer into a world of hyper sexualisation. Extreme corruption and twisted views of morality. It’s fairly compelling stuff, though. Cronenberg has inherited many of his father’s traits. Including the ability to keep the viewer watching, despite wanting to turn away.

Infinity Pool – Violent and Hyper Sexual

Infinity Pool is a movie that is graphic in a number of different ways. Taking the very real eccentricates of the rich and upper class. Placing them under a microscope and inflating them to farcical levels. It bombards the viewer with a consistently renewed cycle of violence and gore. All set to a backdrop of drug and alcohol use. And layered with excessive bodily functions and sex. Nothing is off limits here. Cronenberg goes out of his way to unsettle the viewer in any way he can.

Scenes of deliberate and drawn out violence stand out for the manner in which they are depicted. Often drawn out and painful. They are presented as an exploration of body horror. As well as the human emotional response to death. Graphic and psychedelic sex scenes aim to provoke discomfort in the viewer. Featuring full frontal male and female nudity frequently. Cronenberg prods at the more reserved, desperate for a response. It’s a commendable use of these elements. Often exploited for titillation, they are used here to disturb. Something which said scenes frequently accomplish.

Infinity Pool – Aiming to Shock

The question is, do these themes provoke the intended response? To a degree, yes they do. But it has to be said that this is not horror in the traditional sense. Scenes of violence feel very deliberately forced. They linger; keen to indulge in the horror of it all. As do the sex scenes and moments of uncomfortable nudity. This is a movie that wants the viewer to feel off base. And to do that, it sacrifices a cohesive and well structured plot.

Infinity Pool Horror Movie Review

Infinity Pool forgoes attempts to get into your head like Hannibal Lecter. Instead opting to tuck its dick in between its legs like Buffalo Bill. Before standing there naked and hoping for a response. It wants to shock you and does so in any way it can. For much of its length, if feels rather needless and lacking in purpose. Still, the themes and bizarre imagery, somehow, keep you watching. Infinity Pool can be an uncomfortable watch for a number of reasons. Something that Cronenberg was obviously going for.

Infinity Pool – Fantastic Acting

Infinity Pool is well supported by fantastic performances. Alexander Skarsgård is great as writer James Foster. Feeling like a genuine and, at times, vulnerable character. As his situation sinks deeper and deeper down into the pit of depravity. Skarsgård brings to life the very real decline of the character. Perfectly capturing his conflicted and consistently tormented reactions. Cleopatra Coleman, as Em, is great. She manages to feel like the only normal person in the entire movie. Acting as something of an insert for the viewer. Confused at what is happening and bewildered by the world she has found herself in. She does an excellent job against a rather strange cast of characters.

The standout performance here, however, is Mia Goth as Gabi. Playing the role with a quiet sense of confidence. Never really overstating the situation. As the movie enters its final stanza, she really comes to life. Putting on one of the most fun and memorable horror performances in quite awhile. She is proving to be something of a horror sensation as of late. Acting, throughout, is fantastic. Cronenberg, seemingly, has his dad’s ability to relate these strange characters. Helping get the most out of his actor’s performances.

Infinity Pool Horror Movie Review

Cinematography is excellent. Cronenberg’s style is sure to divide. Psychedelic shots and a focus on the insignificant will not be for everyone. Slightly abstract camera angles abound. The gorgeous setting of Croatia is minimised in the lens of the camera. Cronenberg instead choosing to focus on the grittier sides of the country. This is a great looking picture, though. Feeling unique while, at the same time, being rather traditional. As if it has been dragged, kicking a screaming, back from the 70s. Infinity Pool stands out among a sea of characterless horror.

Infinity Pool – A Lacking Story and Underdeveloped Characters

The thing that many will dislike about Infinity Pool. Is the terribly lacking story and woefully underdeveloped characters. There are so many elements here that feel poorly defined. From the farcical and far fetched science fantasy stuff. All the way to the open ended plot and complete lack of answers. Infinity Pool is one of those movies that is far more of an experience than a story. Unfortunately, this is something of a Cronenberg family trait. Character motivations can feel ill conceived and, at times, barely existent. Leading to situations that make little sense. The movie has a tendency to lose context. Instead, all too happy to stand around sniffing the roses.

As the movie starts to creep into its final act. It’s impossible not to feel like it lost its way somewhere along the line. Cronenberg’s fantastic ability to create suspense and to unsettle the viewer. Suddenly seems a little less important. The gorgeous cinematography and some of the fantastic psychedelic imagery. Simply can’t make up for the emptiness found at the bottom of the barrel. Infinity Pool is a movie that can feel lost in its own depth.

Infinity Pool Horror Movie Review

The first 30 minutes offer the promise of some interesting story building. That, unfortunately, quickly goes out of the window. I imagine it is at that point that the movie will lose many viewers. So many people will switch off right there. Disappointed that the once intriguing plot. Has now been replaced by a focus on disturbing imagery. For fans of strong plot building. The final hour or so will feel tremendously long and tremendously empty. And that is the biggest problem with Infinity Pool. For all its strengths, it is a slave to its concept and presentation. For better or worse.

Is it a Knockout?

Infinity Pool is a an interesting movie that feels more like a sequence of events than a story. Indulging in its themes of sex, violence and debauchery. It is every bit the type of film you might expect from a person bearing the Cronenberg name. Unsettling and discomforting in is presentation of the excesses of the rich. Infinity Pool can be uncomfortable viewing at the best of times. Both incredibly effective and utterly memorable.

Still, it is also a movie that lacks cohesion and suffers for poorly defined characters. The consistent question of why things happen will remain unanswered. This is a horror that is keen to present a concept, a style, and little else. Fantastic performances, particularly from Mia Goth. As well as a unique, almost arthouse, presentation. Will definitely appeal to viewers with more eclectic tastes. For many, however, this is a movie that offers little and only delivers on some its promises. I enjoyed it but I simply can't solidly recommend it to all horror fans.

Trailer: Infinity Pool

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Infinity Pool Horror Movie Review

Movie Information

Release Date:27th January 2023
Movie Type:Horror, Drama, Science Fiction
Movie Length:117 Min
Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Mia Goth, Cleopatra Coleman, Jalil Lespert, Adam Boncz
Directed By: Brandon Cronenberg
Written By: Brandon Cronenberg
Produced By: Karen Harnisch, Andrew Cividino, Christina Piovesan, Noah Segal, Rob Cotterill, Anita Juka, Daniel Kresmery, Jonathan Halperyn
Country: Canada, Croatia, Hungary
Language: English
Parental Guidance: Graphic sex, sexual assault, full frontal male and female nudity, violence, gore, drug use, language, upsetting scenes, basically everything.