In Infinity Pool, author James Foster is on holiday at a beautiful resort with his girlfriend, when he bumps into actress Gabi Bauer who is vacationing with her boyfriend. The two interact, with Gabi informing James she is a fan of his writing, and soon both couples are going out to dinner together.
After a boozy night, James drives everyone home, but shortly into the journey he accidentally knocks a stranger down with his car and kills him. Shocked and saddened by what has occurred, James is keen to report the accident, but Gabi tells him to ignore the incident, as the local authorities will not be forgiving on him or anyone else in the group.
James reluctantly agrees, and the group get back in the car and return to their accommodation. However, in the early hours of the morning there is a knock at James’ hotel room door, which results in he and his girlfriend being taken into custody.
After questioning James over the incident, he is told he has two choices: He is either executed for the crime, or he agrees to undergo a procedure (for a fee) whereby he is cloned, and his double will be executed instead. James agrees to the latter, and embarks on the cloning process.
Shortly after the procedure is complete, James and his girlfriend are made to watch as the clone is executed. However, while she is horrified by what she witnesses, James finds himself intrigued by what he sees and this leads him down a dangerous path of self-destruction.
Written and directed by Brandon Cronenberg, Infinity Pool stars Alexander Skarsgård and Mia Goth. The movie is a sci-fi horror film, which is new to UK cinemas from Friday, following its debut at the Sundance Film Festival back in January.
Dark, bizarre, and at times mind-bogglingly weird, Infinity Pool is a slow-moving piece, with a twisted feel to every frame. For a horror movie, there is a great deal of perversion running through its black heart, it boasts some curious visuals, and its story definitely has something interesting going on deep inside.
Is it for everyone? Certainly not, and I can’t say it’s for me either.
While sections of the movie work very well, and the initial hook about cloning is enough to get the film off on the right foot, it just doesn’t come together in the right way. As the running time ticks along, there is a sense the film is slowly starting to drift up its own arse, resulting in something which is a little too self-indulgent for its own good.
To be fair to the movie, and to writer/director Brandon Cronenberg, it is good to see a film which isn’t afraid to try something different. Infinity Pool isn’t a cookie-cutter picture, and it dives into its peculiarities and unusual tastes with conviction.
But unfortunately, despite its confidence, there is an overriding sense that Infinity Pool isn’t quite as well constructed as it wants you to believe. After a while, Infinity Pool seems to lose itself and its sense of direction, resulting in a film that feels like you need to be on drugs to make sense of it all.
Personally, I wasn’t keen to indulge in narcotics to follow along, and as a result I found myself not just mentally checking out, but also disinterested. Once the film began acting like a collection of random scenes, rather than a coherent picture, it all came crashing down for me and I was ready to walk.
To put things into a much clearer perspective, Infinity Pool starts off well, goes a bit weird, then tails off towards the end. It lost me during some of the weirdness, and never really got me back.
I was a big fan of Cronenberg’s previous movie, Possessor (2020), and there are aspects of Infinity Pool which I really like too, but sadly this film doesn’t hit the spot. While the director nails the ominous tone and he fills the movie with a continual sense of dread, it all feels as if it is for nothing.
Those who are intrigued by the premise, or who found a great deal to like in Possessor will probably want to give it a go, but don’t be too surprised if you come away feeling disappointed. Infinity Pool is intriguing, but there is a little too much excess at the expense of the story, and ultimately it’s simply not enjoyable.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review on It’s A Stampede!. For more reviews, check out the recommended reads below.
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