Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Mia Goth, Cleopatra Coleman, Jalil Lespert, and Thomas Kretschmann
Director: Brandon Cronenberg
Director Brandon Cronenberg has similar film sensibilities to his father, so you have an idea what you’re in for with his features. However, with Infinity Pool, the director’s more experimental aspects tend to work against the flow of an otherwise intriguing film. I’m all for shocking your audience, but such scenes work best when they advance the story. Some of the ones here feel like they were made solely to provide shock value, making them unnecessary. Besides that, Mia Goth provides another powerhouse showing - her third in a row - and although the film struggles to maintain its early momentum, it did enough to keep me invested.
Infinity Pool is delightfully asymmetrical and weird right up to the point that it isn’t, and that’s where it ultimately lost me. For about 88% of the runtime, I was on board, ready for whatever director Brandon Cronenberg had in store for me and the film’s stars, especially the beautifully unhinged Mia Goth, who owns the whole movie. Unfortunately, it never really becomes anything more than surface-level intrigue, leaving the audience with a sense of interest but no ultimate satisfaction. Perhaps that is the point of the whole enterprise, but it’s a point best alluded to rather than experienced.
Infinity Pool is a film that could only possibly come from someone with the last name Cronenberg, as it delivers twisted originality and disturbing nightmarish imagery. With its underlying themes of privilege, the first half of the film immerses you in an intriguing story that eventually goes off the rails with a bonkers second half that will leave you pondering, “what the fuck did I just witness?” It’s a wild ride that won’t sit right with everyone, but there is no denying that it allows Mia Goth to once again prove she is a force to be reckoned with.
Infinity Pool is a mess of a movie. Now, within that mess are hints at something good, possibly great, but director Brandon Cronenberg seems to be more in love with the idea of creating something off-kilter than telling an actual story. Alexander Skarsgård's performance is passable as a man lost in hedonism, while Mia Goth's unhinged insanity somehow fluctuates between amazing and downright lousy. Lacking the usual amount of body horror that audiences have come to expect from the name Cronenberg, this film instead chooses to skate by on its ambience, which doesn't always work in its favor.