The nightmare that unfolds is certainly effective. At the same time, there's an emptiness at the movie's core.
Stream Infinity Pool
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
It’s a great compliment to say that Infinity Pool works completely divorced from the legacy of the man who made it. Brandon has become his own captivating filmmaker. He’s no clone.
Cronenberg creates an atmosphere of nauseating dread through it all as things grow increasingly deranged. No fooling: this is not an easy movie to watch. It gets under your skin and makes your flesh crawl. It infects you. You'll probably want to take a shower after the credits roll, and then take another shower just to be sure you're extra clean.
There’s just more under the hood than your typical imitators: the antic disposition of the idle rich, the way infinite money can absolve the rich of any accountability, and the ever-predatory nature of colonial tourism. Wrap it up in a package this wild, shocking, and perverse, and it makes for a delightful bloody mess that you’ll want to go back to.
So often, you can feel filmmakers straining themselves to come up with more extreme ways of shocking and awing you. With this writer-director, you get the sensation that such hallucinogenic, nerve-scrambling sensationalism comes naturally. You wouldn’t say that his agent provocateur touch is subtle. But it is expert.
Not for the faint of heart but precisely the sort of nightmare that fans of Cronenberg (and his father David) crave.
The Canadian helmer has created the cinematic equivalent of an M.C. Escher drawing, which bends and breaks and folds back on itself in impossible ways. Brain-shattering as it all is, we can hardly tear our eyes away.
Infinity Pool is the kind of film that reminds you that sometimes, the best thing a filmmaker can do is take you to places you would never dream of heading without apologizing for any of it.
Cronenberg still is one of the most intriguing horror filmmakers working today, and when Infinity Pool is working, it's unlike anything that you've ever seen. But when comparing Cronenberg's approaches in this to something like Possessor, it becomes clear that it's better when there's a method to Cronenberg’s madness.
Stars Alexander Skarsgärd and Mia Goth deliver terrifically unhinged performances as a failing novelist and a mysterious tour guide, and Cronenberg has absolutely no shortage of original ideas, but the whole thing feels bloodless, cold and clammy as a speculum.