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.
Brandon Cronenberg has big shoes to fill being the son of legendary Canadian director David, and he’s already made a good start with his first two movies (‘Antiviral’ and ‘Possessor’) both gaining positive reviews. His third movie, ‘Infinity Pool’, is a sci-fi horror that follows a young couple as they go on holiday to a popular seaside resort, discovering some of the country’s dark secrets after an accident. It stars Alexander Skarsgård as James, a little known novelist, who unwittingly finds himself in trouble after a car accident, after returning from a countryside trip with his wife Em (Cleopatra Coleman) and a couple they’d just met (Mia Goth and Jalil Lespert).
The film begins as James and Em arrive on the island of Li Tolqa, a fictional island that could easily be a stand in for many real life resort islands, where you have luxurious resorts aimed at tourists which mask the reality of life in poverty for many of the locals. This forms the basis of the movie’s premise as James finds himself in police custody after the accident – only there’s a catch. For rich tourists, there is an option to avoid putting their hands in the island’s decidedly dodgy justice system, and herein the science fiction elements kick in. The first 45 minutes of ‘Infinity Pool’ are superb, building up the tension and a mounting sense of dread as we get to know our characters and wait for the ‘premise’ to kick in. From that point onwards there are interesting themes explored, and a lot of Mia Goth which is always good, but I felt the movie found itself in a bit of a narrative cul de sac that it couldn’t quite find a satisfying way out of, despite good performances and the underlying intrigue of the story.
‘Infinity Pool’ can sit alongside recent movies that have satirised the rich such as ‘Triangle of Sadness’ and ‘The Menu’, albeit I don’t think it quite reaches the same quality despite a clever science fiction set-up. Like his father, Cronenberg has developed a taste for macabre and satirical body horror, and this is an intriguing movie, albeit one that feels like it stumbles once it gets fully out the gate.
Directed By: Brandon Cronenberg
Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Mia Goth, Cleopatra Coleman, Jalil Lespert, Amanda Brugel, John Ralston, Jeffrey Ricketts, Caroline Boulton and Thomas Kretschmann