The hot word that people seem to love to throw around nowadays is nepotism babies, and diminish people from their work because their parents are somebody and they’re only in the positions they’re in because of their parents. Now that is not to say that there certainly are not a few people who fall into that category, but it is certainly not the masses like it has been speculated by recently. Brandon Cronenberg certainly does not fall into that category and with his third film, Infinity Pool, it proves that while he certainly has some of his fathers influence and intrigue, he has found his own footing and creates worlds of sheer horror of his own.
The film focuses on James Foster (Alexander Skarsgard) as he is on vacation with his wife, Em (Cleopatra Coleman) in the fictional island of La Tolqa to garner some inspiration for his next book as he has hit a creative block. While on vacation he runs into a fan of his work, Gabi (Mia Goth) and her husband, Alban (Jalil Lespert). Stuck in his own ego of someone being an actual fan of his work, when asked to leave the resort for the day, James can’t help himself but jump at the chance to spend time with Gabi as he is so dumbfounded by someone being a fan of his book. As they’re on their way back to the resort, a fatal accident occurs and the underlying tone of classism becomes much more apparent, with the intense violence and surrealistic horror making its way to the forefront, in a style that only Brandon Cronenberg could truly pull off.
With Cronenberg’s third film now after Antiviral and Possessor, he has certainly found his footing and his distinctive style. While he doesn’t try to mimic his father, there is certainly homage and similar styles he uses however it would be easiest to describe his style as a combination of his fathers work and Robert Eggers creating a hybrid of the two to become his own distinctive voice and imagery. Brandon clearly has decided to make his films more accessible to audiences as well, with Infinity Pool as it is the least grotesque and disturbing film thus far, but that is not to say the movie is for the faint of heart, it just is not the most extreme either.
Performances typically tend to make or break a film, and when you have the presence of Mia Goth you know whatever you’re about to witness is going to be a masterclass on a whole new level. Considering Mia Goth is only 29 years old, and has been acting since 2013, in this last year alone she has proven to audiences that she is one of the greatest talent to be on screen in our generation. To look at her performances between X, Pearl, and now Infinity Pool she is proving that she is undeniable and a complete force to be reckoned with and her portrayal of Gabi might be her most unhinged and insane role yet. When you have a character who is so off the walls there needs to be another character to balance that energy, and thankfully Alexander Skarsgard as James Foster is the perfect balance to Mia Goth’s unhinged energy. Their chemistry is simply sublime but it is his bleak innocence turned into sheer horror that brings his character to life and creates this brilliant opposite to Mia Goth’s Gabi.
Infinity Pool is undeniably one of the most intense and graphic movies that has seen a screen. There are moments of sheer terror and uncomfortable tension but it is all unhinged and crafted in a way that simply makes the audience unable to look away. The world that is created is simply a false heaven and boasts brilliant performances from Goth and Skarsgard to make a film that is truly undeniable.