‘Infinity Pool’ Movie Review [Sundance 2023]: Alexander Skarsgård at a Hallucinogenic Horror Resort


'Infinity Pool' 2.5 stars

‘Infinity Pool’ finds surreal horrors in an all-inclusive beach resort

'Infinity Pool' Alexander Skarsgård as James Foster and Mia Goth as Gabi sitting in a car wearing Ekki masks.
L-R: Alexander Skarsgård as James Foster and Mia Goth as Gabi | NEON

Writer James Foster (Alexander Skarsgård) and his wife, Em (Cleopatra Coleman), arrive at an all-inclusive beach resort for a vacation on the fictional island of La Tolqa. It’s a must-needed trip in the pursuit of inspiration for his next book after having an artistic crisis. There, James and Em meet vacation friends in Gabi (Mia Goth) and her husband, Alban (Jalil Lespert).

The two couples get involved in a fatal accident that lands them in serious trouble in a harshly-run country. There’s a legal loophole that gives them the opportunity to set things right, but the cost ultimately results in their undoing. The group falls into a hedonistic sense of tourism that brings out their most primal behaviors.

Artistic ego, privilege, and sacrifice

Writer/director Brandon Cronenberg returns to the silver screen with the twisted Infinity Pool after the stunningly violent and innovative Possessor. He once again blends horror and sci-fi in a fictional society with no shortage of heightened ferocity with a shift to a bit of a more personal focus. Infinity Pool has no shortage of style, but it falls short of his previous efforts.

‘Infinity Pool’ finds surreal horrors in an all-inclusive beach resort

L-R: Alexander Skarsgård as James Foster and Mia Goth as Gabi | NEON

Writer James Foster (Alexander Skarsgård) and his wife, Em (Cleopatra Coleman), arrive at an all-inclusive beach resort for a vacation on the fictional island of La Tolqa. It’s a must-needed trip in the pursuit of inspiration for his next book after having an artistic crisis. There, James and Em meet vacation friends in Gabi (Mia Goth) and her husband, Alban (Jalil Lespert).

The two couples get involved in a fatal accident that lands them in serious trouble in a harshly-run country. There’s a legal loophole that gives them the opportunity to set things right, but the cost ultimately results in their undoing. The group falls into a hedonistic sense of tourism that brings out their most primal behaviors.

Artistic ego, privilege, and sacrifice

Infinity Pool sets the scene with La Tolqa, soaking the viewer in the environment. The surroundings are gorgeous and the resort is high-end, but it’s remarkably dangerous outside of the barbed wire-fenced walls. The hotel staff introduces some La Tolaqan customs, such as some eerie-looking Ekki masks used in “the summoning.” Some locals seek to scare off tourists, as Gabi suggests that their intention is to kill guests and hang them up as a warning for other tourists to return to wherever they came from.

The setting and laws of La Tolqa are where the sci-fi influences bleed into Cronenberg’s screenplay. However, it isn’t void of our society’s uneven gender politics. Gabi talks with James about how some modern women “weaken” men, and it takes some work to revert the damage. La Tolqa itself holds traditions and laws that emphasize patriarchal control, which directly feeds into the male ego of those who are able to take advantage of the system.

Privilege is a key motif throughout Infinity Pool. The beach resort is for the wealthy, as James, Gabi, and their partners splurge on food and other amenities. They ultimately cause trouble with no concern for local customs. Meanwhile, James admits that he’s a broke writer, but he floats along on Em’s wealthy father, who owns a publishing house.

The longer that James, Gabi, and their partners spend in La Tulqa, the more lost they become in its grasp. James and Gabi, in particular, have a chemistry that draws them to one another. However, this connection proves to be deadly, as this beach resort becomes a locale for pure chaos.

‘Infinity Pool’ is a stylistic nightmare with limited meaning

L-R: Mia Goth as Gabi and Alexander Skarsgård as James Foster | NEON

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Source:: Showbiz Cheat Sheet

      

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