Rent Infinity Pool (2023)

3.0 of 5 from 252 ratings
1h 53min
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Synopsis:
While staying at an isolated island resort, James (Alexander Skarsgård) and Em (Cleopatra Coleman) are enjoying a perfect vacation of pristine beaches, exceptional staff, and soaking up the sun. But guided by the seductive and mysterious Gabi (Mia Goth), they venture outside the resort grounds and find themselves in a culture filled with violence, hedonism, and untold horror. A tragic accident 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.
Actors:
, , , Dunja Sepcic, , , , , , , , , Lena Juka Stambuk, Kristóf Kovács, , , , , , Hajnalka Zsigár
Directors:
Producers:
Andrew Cividino, Rob Cotterill, Jonathan Halperyn, Karen Harnisch, Anita Juka, Daniel Kresmery, Christina Piovesan, Noah Segal
Writers:
Brandon Cronenberg
Studio:
Universal Pictures
Genres:
Horror, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Thrillers
BBFC:
Release Date:
26/06/2023
Run Time:
113 minutes
Languages:
English Dolby Digital 5.1, German Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing, German
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
Colour
BBFC:
Release Date:
26/06/2023
Run Time:
118 minutes
Languages:
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, German DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles:
Danish, English Hard of Hearing, Finnish, German, Norwegian, Swedish
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B

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Reviews (3) of Infinity Pool

A revelatory Goth crackles in a shocking psycho-sexual body horror which just about holds together - Infinity Pool review by TB

Spoiler Alert
01/12/2023

I am not a big fan of horror, having only watched a handful of the genre of genuine "horror films" (I don't count films like Alien & Aliens as horror due to having as much of the action genre spliced in with it as the horror element.) Some of them have had a big impact on me (The Shining really messed with my head, Eden Lake was an exercise in slow & gruelling punishment,) but to be honest, mostly I just can't take it seriously. However, body horror is one which I haven't really watched any of, so this was a real eye opener, even if it did start to run out of steam towards the end.

James Foster & his wife Em are holidaying in the exclusive resort of Li Tolqa. The holiday destination is unique as guests are not permitted outside the grounds & the whole place is surrounded with barbed wire with armed guards patrolling. Foster is an unsuccessful writer who is financially supported by his wife, and this among many things is clearly straining their marriage. One day, James starts to talk with Gabi, a vivacious & highly enigmatic actress who is staying with her husband.

On an unauthorised trip outside the resort, James accidentally hits a man whilst driving & then discovers the unusual rule of law on the island: you can pay for a double of yourself to be created to take the sentence of death imposed on anyone who kills a resident of the island. This then starts off a chain of law-breaking & more extreme acts with James & the new group of friends he makes.

Overall I did really like the film, especially the psychosexual element of it. Whether it is the scene where, after a deliberate slow ratcheting up of tension & uncomfortableness, we see James suddenly being surprised by Gabi & her pleasuring him to completion before she walks away without saying a word; through to the trippy & psychedelic orgy, the tension & hyper sexuality is always just below the surface. There is also a highly effective use of different extremely distressing masks which the various members of the party wear whilst carrying out their crime sprees.

However for me, in the final third, the film just becomes too silly to keep up the shocks & horror. The prosthetics, whilst convincingly made, become as ridiculous as the situation James finds himself in, never more so than the final face-off against "the dog." In what was meant to be in many ways the pay-off to the story, especially after watching the previous challenges/dares the party goads each other into doing, it just didn't work & pretty much fell flat.

However, this film has a stunning & towering central performance from Mia Goth. Introduced as a pushy, posh & needy actress, who then turns into a complete psychopath with a banshee-style shriek, Gabi is a walking, talking nightmare. Goth fully embraces every facet of the character, where it is the sweet, almost childlike innocence through to the hypersexualised nymphomaniac who coerces Alexander Skarsgård's loser novelist into taking drugs & engaging in utter debauchery.

Whilst I did wish the film had nailed the ending, I cannot deny I was swept up in the hideous & extremely unsettling world that Cronenberg created. But this film would have been nothing without Goth's towering performance.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Flawed Body Horror - Infinity Pool review by GI

Spoiler Alert
02/01/2024

This is a shockingly graphic body horror film with boundary pushing sex scenes and some eye watering gore. There is something rather unfulfilling about it though and once it's over you're left with a vague feeling of being unsatisfied and the shock elements don't make up for it. Alexander Skarsgård, once again stepping away from his hunky man persona, plays James who along with his wife Em, (Cleopatra Coleman) are taking a holiday on a plush island resort on a fictitious island. The guests are restricted to staying on the resort but fellow guests, the enigmatic and beautiful Gabi (Mia Goth) and Alban (Jalil Lespert), befriend the couple and entice them to go to a remote beach. On the way back a drunken James runs over and kills a local leading to his arrest. Draconian local laws stipulate the punishment for his crime is death but James is offered an alternative and his decision pushes him into a surreal world of hedonistic violence and depraved sex. Director Brandon Cronenberg seems to be taking up his father's mantle again here with his emphasis on body horror that in this narrative seems linked to hallucingenic drug abuse but thematically it's some sort of treatise on entitlement. James is lured into the strange world far too readily as if the director wants to hurriedly get to the shocks without really focusing on the themes he's attempting to expose. Mia Goth is once again a stand out here, she is beautiful, mysterious and dominates the film but overall this is not an enjoyable film although fans of Cronenberg senior will relish his son continuing his legacy.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

a true Cronenberg gem - Infinity Pool review by SL

Spoiler Alert
12/02/2024

Influences: his dad’s oeuvre [Dead Ringers!], A LOT OF JG Ballard, David Lynch, Angela Carter, Andy Warhol [art films], A Clockwork Orange, Brazil, Haneke’s Funny Games, The White Lotus, Timothy Leary, Charles Manson, and Italian giallo, video nasties, lashings of fake blood, some generic [s]exploitation.

A bonkers plot, an unabashed, exuberant indulgence in psychedelic video effects that were cool in 1967 -and why not! All of this makes a great movie, like an adrenaline shot in the heart.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

Infinity Pool review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

It feels like there’s a lot of pressure on Brandon Cronenberg to live up to the legacy of surreal horror like his father and after his amazing film Possessor from 2020. Infinity Pool has a lot of expectations for becoming something equal parts erotic and grotesque to fit the fascination of the director’s themes. While this movie doesn’t reach the same levels of provocativeness present in Possessor, it’s still a solid dose of trippy and nightmarish weirdness that digs deep into the soul’s darkest areas.

The film finds the struggling author James Foster (Alexander Skarsgård) trying to gain inspiration while on a beach-side vacation with his wife Em (Cleopatra Coleman). While relaxing at the resort on the island of Li Tolqa, they befriend the couple of Gabi (Mia Goth) and Alban Bauer (Jalil Lespert). James seems to have made an impression on the couple. During dinner, they lavish James with praise for his writing. When in private, Gabi gives him a surprise handjob. The vacation takes a dark turn when James hits a man on a night outing around the resort and kills him. Despite the advice of the Bauer’s to cover up the murder to avoid unjust punishment on the island, it’s no use.

The island has a weird method for punishing those who commit crimes. Under their traditions, they have an eye-for-eye mentality. They argue that if James killed a man, then the family should be allowed to kill him. Weirdly enough, a loophole can prevent James from ending up dead on his trip. The island harbors a cloning program where James can be cloned, and the family can kill the clone. The caveat is that James has to watch as his cloned body is murdered in front of him. While he’s free to go after witnessing the gruesome sight, the experience messes with his mind of James and makes Em disgusted with how James watched his death without much shock.

James then falls down a rabbit hole of other tourists who have experienced the cloned punishment. Rather than be horrified and leave this island behind, those who have watched their death welcome James into their fold. They look upon this system as something to be exploited. After all, if murder can be so easily avoidable as the ultimate punishment, what good are laws anymore? Through some convincing (and a lot of drinking and drugs), James is convinced to stay on the island and delight in all the illegality. They break into houses, have orgies, and get incredibly violent if somebody goes against their plans. It’s a hole so deep that James becomes increasingly animalistic and nihilistic, to the point where he fights himself.

Much like Possessor, Infinity Pool is loaded with sex and violence. Everything from the psychedelic haze of the orgies to the vicious, bloody executions is surreal. That said, it’s not as provocative as the previous film, which touched on identity and sexuality. This film settles for the easier ground of peering into the animal-like nature of mankind and slathering it within the familiar coating of screw-it-all crime romp. The good news is that performances sell this story so well, where it’s a real treat watching Skarsgård grow increasingly frustrated with his life while Goth gets giddy with a wine bottle and pistol on the hood of a moving car.

Infinity Pool may not be Brandon Cronenberg at his best, but it does showcase that the director still has a style he holds true towards. All of his hallmarks for tilted cameras and off-putting cerebral storytelling keep him firmly in the realm of high-concept horror that goes a bit beyond than most. So, in case it needed to be said, this is not a picture for the squeamish or those unable to read between the lines of one man’s descent into existential dread and wild sex parties. For those already engrossed in the world of the Cronenbergs, this is a solid film within that realm.

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