Mw Horror Reviews
Infinity Pool (2023)
'Infinity pool' is the latest film to be released under the instantly recognisable Cronenberg name. And although this didn't quite reach the heights I was expecting from it, there is no denying the collaborative partnership between director Brandon Cronenberg and cinematographer Karim Hussain is something of a masterclass in modern day film making. Featuring some of the more interesting and creative camera work I have seen in recent years, and introducing an array of awe-inspiring psychedelic sequences throughout, all paired perfectly with Tim Hecker's eerie and emotionally amplifying score.
The concept of this film is an enticing idea, and one that manages to showcase the social and emotional impact of financial hierachy in social circles, and how wealth can provide you with minimal accountability and consequence when it comes to the law. Whilst having interesting underlining messages, I couldn't help but feel like the story somewhat disregards the potential of its wide-ranging options in terms of Skarsgård's characters grasp on reality. I also never once felt the stakes were high enough for anyone involved and the constant building of momentum ultimately came to an unsatisfying conclusion for me.
The casting features some truly mesmerising performances from both leads - Alexander Skarsgård as James Foster, and Mia Goth as Gabi Bauer. Goth's ability to give a what seems like an effortless performance and yet still capture the focus of the entire screen, regardless of how pivotal she is to the scene playing out, is a talent like no other. Skarsgård too showcases his incredible range as a performer as we witness his character James go on a journey of self discovery over the course of this film. This constant shift in character development gives Skarsgård the opportunity to portray multiple variations of James over a short period of time.
With regards to the gore and body horror in this film, I wouldn't necessarily say it falls as closely as you would expect from a Cronenberg named production. That's not to say there aren't more than a few instances of heavy violence and great practical effects work. It is however the graphic nudity and pornographic imagery that is at the forefront of focus when it comes to the shock factor of 'Infinity Pool'. There is one particular scene that features a group orgy that is so graphic I am in amazement that this film got shown in its entirety during it's cinematic release. Whist not being an issue for me personally, I can see how this may turn away some viewers.
'Infinity Pool' is something that I went into with very limited knowledge of beforehand and for some this may be the perfect way to experience this film. However, for me, I found it to be an underwhelming execution of a concept that my expectations had developed into something much grander in scope. The performances here are outstanding and there is no denying that Cronenberg is a fantastic visionary film maker and his talent as a director is second to none, I just feel the potential of 'Infinity Pool' is much greater than the overall execution of its narrative.