Infinity Pool (2023): Don’t Do Drugs, Because We Will Get More Psychologically Mind-Numbing Bores Such As This
“Infinity Pool” is directed by Brandon Cronenberg (Possessor, Antiviral) and stars Alexander Skarsgård (The Legend of Tarzan, The Northman), Mia Goth (X, A Cure for Wellness), and Cleopatra Coleman (In the Shadow of the Moon, The Last Man on Earth) in a film… that I honestly would not be able to describe in a single sentence if I were asked to do so on the street. It is something… Though in all seriousness, “Infinity Pool” centers around a couple, James and Em Foster, who travel to an island for a getaway. When the couple is involved in an accident, what is supposed to be a relaxing trip turns into a nightmarish and outlandish marathon of events.
I often describe January, and February for that matter, as the time where movies go to die. When I say that, I often refer to the movies being dead on arrival, uninteresting, or just plain lazy. “Infinity Pool,” which premiered at Sundance on January 21st and had a wide release on January 27th, does not meet those three January movie trademarks. While I was looking forward to other movies more, “Infinity Pool,” at the very least, had my interest. It looked meticulously crafted. I know even if a movie looks bad, there are people behind the scenes who aspire to make something significant out of it, and this definitely looked significant, not to mention unique. To be honest though, “Infinity Pool” did not sell me with the trailer. Although to be fair, it did not look like the easiest film to market, which may be another January trademark. Yes, Alexander Skarsgård is a great actor and an increasingly notable name. Yes, Mia Goth is hot right now, especially amongst horror junkies. Yes, the film is written and directed by the son of a man who has made his mark on the industry for years. But if I were a general audience member, I would probably slip past this film. Plus, as I have stated several times, if there were a genre I would consider to be my weakest, horror is a contender.
I saw “Infinity Pool” over a week and a half ago, and I cannot stop thinking about it.
Specifically, about how tiringly dull it is.
Now I will be fair to “Infinity Pool,” like I was saying about the trailer, this film is exquisitely crafted. The shots consistently shine, the locations are easy on the eyes, the set design fits in every frame, the costumes are top notch. When it comes to style, “Infinity Pool” succeeds.
I also like the performances. All of the main characters are well portrayed and nobody feels miscast. No one on screen feels out of place. In fact, if I had to pick one performer who definitely feels like they are in their place, it would be Mia Goth as Gabi Bauer, a fan of author James Foster, the film’s protagonist. Her performance is perhaps the most larger than life of all the ones in this film, especially compared to the main couple, but that is also what I love about it. This makes the performance stand out, even though I found certain moments with said character to be a nuisance. Although maybe that was the point. That said, the point did not land with me. If you know the saying that not every movie is for everyone, maybe that could apply to my reaction to “Infinity Pool.” It definitely was not for me.
I will give credit to “Infinity Pool” for having moments and concepts that fit within its narrative. There were times where the story had my attention. There are some occasionally disturbing moments. Although when it comes to this film’s sequence of events, there was a moment around or past the halfway point where I just tuned out. The runtime for “Infinity Pool” is less than two hours. If I had to be honest, this film feels like it goes for two and a half hours, possibly longer. Structurally, this film is not the simplest to follow and may warrant a second viewing. Although to be quite frank, this movie shows that first impressions matter because some of the things that happen in this movie did not interest me. If you cannot keep me entertained the first time, then why should I return for a second time?
If I had to pick a film “Infinity Pool” would remind me of, it would be “Midsommar.” Both films have their similarities and differences. Off the bat, a similarity that comes to mind is the fact that the main character travels to a foreign environment only to have things get out of hand. Said environments and happenings within them are different, but nevertheless. Although speaking of similarities, if I had to note a similarity between these two horror flicks, it is that they did not necessarily scare me. There are eerie moments and concepts, but as both movies progressed, there came a certain point where I was more annoyed than I was scared. For “Midsommar,” my annoyance grew and peaked in the middle of the climax. In “Infinity Pool,” I had glimmers of annoyance beforehand, but it increased around when the climax started. I respect “Infinity Pool” for never backing down on anything that happens in it, for the most part, I will address something about that in the next paragraph. But when I left “Infinity Pool” I left feeling less like I was going to have a nightmare and instead thinking to myself that I have seen movies that are scarier, not to mention better paced, despite some of the horrific moments this movie provides.
Fun fact about “Infinity Pool,” when this film premiered at Sundance, an unedited, NC-17 version of the film was played. When this film was widely released, an R-rated, edited version was shown. This film is rather disturbing as is, and I am not sure what this film cut out, maybe some nudity or something, but this film is unhinged to the tenth degree. Even though I lack the motivation to watch “Infinity Pool” a second time, I am curious to know how far Brandon Cronenberg was trying to go for this film, because depending on your personality, this might not be an easy film to watch. Again, I found it more headache-inducing than disturbing, but I respect Cronenberg for going as far as he could.
It is hard to come up with any other last minute pros regarding “Infinity Pool.” Although if I had to, I would say some of the dialogue is well-written. I was somewhat invested in the story, even in moments where I was tuned out, there were slight glimmers of my attention that were still intact. I just wish I found the story and script more compelling and less infuriating to sit through. For that reason, I cannot recommend “Infinity Pool,” though I am sure it will find its audience.
In the end, “Infinity Pool” is a bloody terrible time that I wish I could have gotten back. There are moments of this movie that I imagine would have been enhanced had I been drunk or high, but I do not partake in such activities, therefore I just settled for being sober and bored. I had a Diet Pepsi, which has caffeine in it. That is a drug. But I cannot say it kept me awake. While “Infinity Pool” comes off as a greater piece of art than the uninspired hour and a half-long NFL ad in disguise known as “80 for Brady,” it does not mean I want to watch the film again in the near future. I am going to give “Infinity Pool” a 4/10.
“Infinity Pool” is now playing in theaters everywhere. Tickets are available now.
Thanks for reading this review! My next review is going to be for “Plane,” the all new action flick starring Gerard Butler as an airline pilot. I just saw the film last week, and be sure to expect my review for it next week! Also, on Sunday, February 19th, I will be announcing the nominees for the 5th Annual Jack Awards! I will drop all the names you need to know and a form where you can vote for Best Picture! The ceremony drops on March 5th, only on Flicknerd.com. If you want to see this and more from Scene Before, follow the blog either with an email or WordPress account! Also, check out the official Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “Infinity Pool?” What did you think about it? Or, what is the slowest horror movie you have ever seen? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!