‘Infinity Pool’ Sundance Review: X-Rated, Disturbing Masterpiece

Rise to the challenge of balancing his wild bullshit before ownerBrandon Cronenberg writhes in more psychological horror bodily aggression, mutation, mutilation, and hysteria with infinity poola movie so extreme that the only reasonable response is often laughter.

Cronenberg’s third feature is multiple things at once, and while it’s all inconsistent in a neat and tidy fashion, that clutter is part of the problem — a concept that’s constantly haunted by Close-up and personal gore scenes and bodily fluids dripping, spewing and spewing from various holes and wounds.

Not for the faint of heart but exactly the nightmare that Cronenberg fans (and his father David) crave, infinity pool is an ideal fit for Sundance Film Festivalits Midnight installment, where it just premiered before hitting theaters on January 27. The film presents a threat even before its chaos begins, thanks to ominous snapshots of Vast ocean and angular, white trellises cover the walkways of a luxury resort on the fictional island of Li Tolqa.

Here’s Em (Cleopatra Coleman) and James Foster (Alexander Skarsgård) is on vacation, seemingly so he can finally find inspiration to continue writing the novel he wrote — in the face of negative reviews — six years ago. Their relationship feels like it’s silently fracturing irreparably, and so when James meets Gabby (Mia Goth) and she introduced herself as a fan, he couldn’t help but be flattered and mesmerized.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

James and Em then have dinner with Gabby and her husband Alban (Jalil Lespert), in which they learn that he is an architect and that she is an actress specializing in television commercials — specifically. Maybe the ads ask her to “fail” as a way to highlight a need for the product. That’s weird, and infinity pool becomes more bizarre when Gabby and Alban convince James and Em to join them the next day on an excursion to a remote beach picnic spot.

This is forbidden by the resort, and the fact that the gate they exit from has giant loops of barbed wire suggesting the island’s danger is not a myth. However, a more intimate kind of danger materializes once they reach their destination, and while venturing privately, James is roughly handled by Gabby, who jerks him until he’s finished (in one of the multiple close-ups with images, torrential) with lifeless eyes. mechanical calculator.

(Warning: Some spoilers follow suit.)

If James was shaken by this unexpected encounter, he was completely confused while driving home that night, the headlights of his car went out and he accidentally hit and killed a farmer. local people. Convinced that they should flee the scene rather than take their chance with the island’s terrible legal system, James and Em head back to the resort. Unfortunately, police arrive knocking on the door, taking the couple through a network of winding, rusty industrial pipes (the reverse of previous rigs) and to a derelict police station.

There, detective Thresh (Thomas Kretschmann) explains the real predicament James landed in. On the island, murderers are executed by members of the victim’s family—in this case, the farmer’s young son. However, due to a diplomatic arrangement, perpetrators can pay to have themselves cloned so that their clone, who retains all of their memories, can be executed on their behalf.

Don’t bother asking how the island perfected such a technique, or even how the process works. James signed his name on the dotted line, handed over a stack of cash (from an ATM inside the police station!), stripped off his clothes and, after being measured, stepped into the shower with the floor covered in red-green slime. , where he was engulfed in it. lights flashed and filled with images of disco balls, naked women, and his own reflection.

He and Em are then forced to watch the boy repeatedly brutally stab James’ doppelganger to death. What’s even crazier is that, upon returning to their hotel, James – who is now mysteriously missing – is invited to join Gabby, Alban, and some of their friends, who reveal that they, too, have gone missing. go through this procedure.

Corey Nickols/Getty Images for IMDb

James came across a group of deranged thrill-seekers who saw this alternative reproduction as a license to satisfy all their deviant desires—because, after all, they just can pay to clone themselves to escape the death penalty. That’s just the tip of the infinity poolhis absurd iceberg, with James plunging into a hedonistic spiral of robbery, murder, hallucinogenic drugs, rambunctious sex, and local ritual masks that resemble monstrous disfigured faces. weird.

Whether James is himself or his clone is just the first of many terrifying questions posed by this scenario, as the writer/director transforms the film into a swirling vision. sinister about insecurity and power, self-destruction and rebirth, transformation and debauchery, and—for much of the second half—the privilege of the wealthy tourist running wild.

Cronenberg leaps out of the abyss and continues down into darker and more sinister waters, bombarding viewers with schizophrenic scenes of vague shapes, vibrant colors, fused body parts (including abundant genitalia) and dripping blood. Close-ups of eyes, neck and hands are rampant, giving the action a tactile quality as powerful as the throbbing malice in Tim Hecker’s electronic soundtrack.

The proceedings feel both clinically manicured and dirty, not to mention unremarkable. To that end, Goth—renew his extraordinary turn in Pearl—proves a compelling character of cunning, authoritative perversion. Passionate and nurturing, sweet and ruthless, she is the driving force behind this vicious love affair as it plunges straight into the abyss of guise and deception, parent-child tension, and unhealthy combination.

Like all great horror directors, Cronenberg is less interested in making thematic or sociopolitical wise arguments than in spreading his fears, anxieties, and hangovers. screen, where they can meet, intertwine, and tear each other apart in an instant. infinity pool has much to say but is not eager to hold hands with the audience; Its main driving force is to shock, confuse, and overwhelm, and the writer/director once again finds a way to keep escalating the madness until, in the end, it turns out to be completely hilarious.

Skarsgård is too much of a game for this kind of left-wing madness — in which he’s subjected to a barrage of manipulation, abuse, and humiliation — affirming that he’s one of the daring top actors. most in Hollywood, as interested in his portrayal of idealized masculinity as he is in expressing it.

As for Cronenberg, he’s a frenzied genius of Frankenstein-style symbiosis and division, fusing disparate elements together to create beautifully malformed monsters. As infinity pool his most brutal to date.

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