The apple has not fallen far from the tree, as Brandon Cronenberg, son of legendary filmmaker David Cronenberg, delivers his latest film, “Infinity Pool,” a lurid and thought-provoking horror satire that delves into the corrupting influence of wealth. The film follows a group of wealthy western tourists visiting a secluded island resort. They encounter unexpected and increasingly strange experiences that force them to confront their desires and limitations.
The film opens with the introduction of the main characters, James Foster (played by Alexander Skarsgård) and his wife Em (Cleopatra Coleman), who are near the end of their stay at a luxurious hotel. As the couple navigates their stagnant relationship, James catches the eye of fellow tourist Gabi (Mia Goth), whose easygoing demeanor and hidden dark side are major plot points.
When the quartet ventures outside the resort’s guarded fence, things quickly spiral out of control, leading to a confrontation with the strict local authorities. The corrupting influence of wealth is further emphasized as the tourists face brutal punishment unless they use their wealth to buy their way out. This twist highlights the film’s central theme of excess and its corrosive effects.
As the story unfolds, James begins to undergo a strange transformation, eventually leading him to embrace his mortality and freedom from consequences. He is welcomed into a secret group of wealthy individuals who are similarly protected by wealth and indulge in hedonistic and violent behavior without fear of punishment.
Alexander Skarsgård puts in a standout performance as James, capturing the character’s insecurities, a newfound sense of freedom, and descent into dehumanizing violence. James’s mix of masculine and monetary inadequacies drive his desire to overcompensate, causing tensions within the group as he’s subjected to increasingly bizarre rituals.
The film’s structure becomes increasingly avant-garde as it moves between scenes of hedonistic revelry, creating a hypnotic viewing experience that consumes the characters even as it keeps the viewer at a distance. The viciousness of the group’s destruction is matched only by the viciousness in their eyes, leading to horrific crimes that are both disturbing and thought-provoking.
While the film may not hit all its emotional marks, “Infinity Pool” is an intriguing examination of wealth, excess, and the consequences of unchecked desires. As a fan of David Cronenberg’s work, I was impressed by Brandon’s ability to craft a film that continues the tradition of thought-provoking, body horror-infused storytelling.
RATING: 3.0 out of 5.0
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