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Infinity Pool (18)

Cast: Cleopatra Coleman, Alexander Skarsgard, Mia Goth, Jalil Lespert
Genre: Thriller
Author(s): Brandon Cronenberg
Director: Brandon Cronenberg
Release Date: 24/03/2023 (selected cinemas)
Running Time: 118mins
Country: Can/Croat/Hun
Year: 2023

Novelist James Foster hopes some quality time with his wife Em on an isolated island resort will jolt him out of a rut and validate his existence as an artist. His bruised ego is massaged by fellow guest Gabi Bauer, who claims to be a fan of his work. She is staying at the same resort with her architect husband Alban. They persuade the Fosters to break the rules, which stipulate guests should remain on the compound at all times, and tragedy strikes.


LondonNet Film Review

Infinity Pool (18) Film Review from LondonNet

Since his acclaimed debut feature Antiviral in 2012, Canadian writer-director Brandon Cronenberg has demonstrated a similar taste in hallucinogenic sci-fi horror to his father David. Mind-bending madness percolates in Infinity Pool, a savage, blood-soaked satire about flagrant abuses of power that gleefully contemplates the moral ramifications of the wealthy elite creating clones to take the fall for their heinous transgressions including manslaughter and murder. Cronenberg’s script cranks up the gore-slathered delirium to fever pitch for a stomach-churning finale that pulls no punches with viscera and graphic images of mutilation underlined by the ominous chords of composer Tim Hecker’s score…

The writer-director also delivers a blitzkrieg of full-frontal nudity and on-screen sexual activity that leaves nothing to the imagination. Anyone of a nervous or squeamish disposition will need to look away for extended periods as impressive special make-up effects and prosthetics augment Alexander Skarsgard’s unhinged central performance as a creatively blocked writer tumbling down a rabbit hole of nihilism and perversity. Mia Goth, recently seen in the title role of horror prequel Pearl, is a deliciously creepy sparring partner and her deranged harpy drives the film towards its overblown and divisive climax.

It has been six years since James Foster (Skarsgard) penned a moderately successful debut novel and his creative juices have largely dried up. Thankfully, he married into money and his wife Em (Cleopatra Coleman) bankrolls him as he searches forlornly for inspiration for a follow-up book. James hopes some quality time with Em on an isolated island resort with pristine beaches and attentive staff will jolt him out of a rut and validate his existence as an artist. His bruised ego is massaged by fellow guest Gabi Bauer (Goth), who claims to be a fan of his work.

She is staying at the same resort with her architect husband Alban (Jalil Lespert) and they persuade the Fosters to break the rules, which stipulate guests should remain on the compound at all times. Consequently, James and Em join the Bauers on a jaunt into the surrounding countryside where personal boundaries are crossed. A night-time drive home with James behind the wheel ends in tragedy and the Fosters learn from a police detective (Thomas Kretschmann) that the punishment for any crime on Li Tolqa is death. However, the island nation operates a twisted system of justice that permits James to leverage his wife’s wealth to escape personal responsibility for his crime.

Infinity Pool is an uncompromising vision of nauseating excess that is hard to watch and harder to swallow. Cronenberg refuses to apply the handbrake once his depraved characters spiral sickeningly out of control and his ensemble cast responds with fearless performances. No-one of sound mind would wish they were here.

– Kim Hu


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