Writer/Director Brandon Cronenberg’s horror film promises to be one of the most polarizing, if not the most polarizing, film of the year. It’s a grotesque, beautiful, nauseating depiction of sickening hedonism and amorality in its seductive and repelling. It’s a kaleidoscopic orgy of sex and violence and pure blood thirst that, as art often does, comfort the disturbed, and disturb the comfortable. “Infinity Pool” is the very definition of body horror, a movie that both celebrates and abhors everything about the body.
There are glorious shots of gorgeous women and Mia Goth’s bare breasts, but also close up shots of sweaty backsides and bodily fluid oozing from orifices. There’s the oh so gorgeous Mia Goth in her most glamorous, appealing to absolutely shedding any sense of inhibition, and a very abrupt if inexplicable scene of Alexander Skarsgård getting hand job by Goth’s character Gabi by the bushes. Guided by seductive and mysterious Gabi, on vacation, couple James and Em venture outside the resort grounds and find themselves in a culture filled with violence, hedonism and untold horror.
A tragic accident soon leaves them facing a zero tolerance policy for crime: either you’ll be executed, or, if you’re rich enough to afford it, you can watch yourself die instead. Everything about “Infinity Pool” comes out of left field, presenting itself every moment a horrendous view in to something absolutely perverse and disgusting. Like the characters in the movie, “Infinity Pool” is meant to be a release. It’s something of a cathartic look in to the darkness of the human soul that never once relents. It’s also a very complex indictment of the ultra wealthy, and those so sickeningly rich that they’re above any sense of human decency or law. Much like the society we live in.
For them the world is their playground and Cronenberg depicts his vision as a place where they can not only destroy lives, but also destroy themselves and never quite feel any remorse in the end. The idea of creating doubles as a means of ducking out of actual punishment speaks to alleged “affluenza” and sense of superiority with these characters. If you can’t face any possible consequences, what is stopping one from being as destructive and primal as possible? When the government caters to you, what do you have to lose? Cronenberg’s film suffers from being too long in the tooth, but that’s salvaged by such a jarring, bizarre and beautifully filmed genre hybrid that goes about as far as it can cinematically.
There is so much injected in to the substance of the film that it can be overwhelming, but the experimentation with limits is a great compliment to the characters whose orgy of violence has none. While the collective cast is great, Mia Goth is once again outstanding. Her performance as the seductive albeit despicable Gabi is mesmerizing. She’s become one of the most dazzling newcomers of the film world over the last few years, and here she absolutely steals every moment she’s on screen. “Infinity Pool” is going to be on the collective psyches of film lovers throughout 2023.
In a period where the Oscars are celebrating glossy cinema, “Infinity Pool” is the perfect antithesis.
Finishing its run at Sundance 2023, it’s Now in Theaters everywhere.