It sure seems like the Cronenberg family can do Sci-Fi body horror pretty well. Brandon Cronenberg returns with this third feature film in Infinity Pool. It’s set at an upscale resort with some warped sense of horror and dread. The title gives some clues to what the film ultimately is about, but with a cast featuring Mia Goth and Alexander Skarsgard, this film ends up being more accessible than his last movie, Possessor. This film pushes the boundary of the R-rating with violence, and sexual content, and if they could rate a feeling of dread in a film, this would surely get the highest marks.

The movie follows James Foster (Alexander Skarsgard) and his wife Em (Cleopatra Coleman) as they visit the all-inclusive resort in Li Tolqa. The main reason they’re on vacation is to clear up an extended bout of writer’s block. It turns out the resort is stuck in the middle of a country that’s very unfriendly to tourists. As James does almost everything except clear the writer’s block, they meet a new couple, Gabi (Mia Goth) and Alban (Jalil Lespert). Gabi is a massive fan of James’s novel.

They entice James and Em on a trip past the secure walls of the resort. The four of them drink and stay out way too late when a tragic accident happens. James is blamed for the death and faces unusual punishment by the authorities. But there’s a loophole. You can pay an excessive amount of money to have a body double made of you, and that double is executed.

From the get-go, Infinity Pool takes a satirical, dark-humor vibe to the proceedings. The resort and the characters lampoon the life of the mega-rich. The whole premise of the film hammers home how well-off people face little to no consequences for their actions, and those consequences don’t actually affect them in any way.

Infinity Pool borrows an almost film-noir set of tropes but adds in-body horror and science-fiction elements to that formula. Gabi is the femme fatale who ensnares James, appealing to everything in his ego and vanity. She provides risk and excitement that his wife does not. She’s also a fan of his work, whereas his wife, Em, is losing her patience with his writing. You’d think the tensest part of the film would be an encounter with the local authorities, but no, that’s only where Infinity Pool begins. The name is apt, as it repeats a cycle, an endless flushing of the “lives” of whatever crimes the rich socialites have committed. James slowly loses his sense of self, privilege, and ego.

It’s not just with murder and violence where Infinity Pool reaches the boundaries of the R-rating, though. There are trippy scenes of drug-fueled orgies where bodies are seemingly deformed and mangled. There’s nothing sexy about this process that’s reminiscent of something out of From Beyond or Society.

As it continues, the movie loses more and more sense of what we came here for, just like James. You’re left with a soulless husk that’s been twisted, broken, beaten, scarred, and mangled by Infinity Pool. Skarsgard shows why he’s one of the best actors in the business today, switching from primal rage (just like his excellent turn in The Northman) to sensitivity on a dime. It’s a layered performance that makes you feel for him, hate him, and then feel for him once again. It really helps that Mia Goth emasculates and manipulates him in such a scene-stealing way. It’s not just sex and violence for Gabi, though. Her glee shines through and showcases how funny Goth can be, while still remaining dangerous.

These two combine for a hell of a pairing that shows off just what Infinity Pool is about. It’s shocking, and funny, but goes even deeper than just some commentary on the rich destroying everything. There are comments on Cronenberg’s own life here, how his films have been received, and how anyone’s art is received by critics.

Cronenberg’s style shines through here, once again rising above the family name and becoming his own filmmaker. Infinity Pool might be his most accessible to major audiences, but it’s still a disgusting, vile, and reprehensible tale of riches, debauchery, and body horror. Which means fans of his will love it.

Infinity Pool releases in theaters on January 27th, 2023.

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