Don't call him "nepo-baby." Brandon Cronenberg may be the son of legend David Cronenberg and he definitely follows in his father's footsteps with sex-fixated and morbid-philosophical "body-horror," but Cronenberg the Younger has an understanding of the visual culture of his time and has created his own, larger expression. His third film "Infinity pool" has a trippy imagery and a dominant soundtrack that attacks all the senses with convincing power – making for an almost totally immersive cinematic experience.
Author James Foster (Alexander Skarsgård) has traveled with his wealthy wife Em on an inspirational trip to the mysterious land of La Tolqa. The atmosphere is chilly between them despite the beautiful landscapes that surround the resort, protected by walls and heavily armed guards. A psychosexual power play begins when they make acquaintance with another vacationing couple. Wife Gabi turns out to be an admirer of James' six-year-old debut, confirming his starved ego.
The holiday takes a dark turn when James drives drunk and takes the life of one of the locals. He is sentenced to death, or rather to be cloned and then witness the execution of his copy. The lawless country of La Tolqa turns out to be a playhouse for elite tourists who can atone for their crimes by having duplicates made and then sending them to slaughter.
Gabi and her husband recruit the adventurous James for gratuitous acts of violence and hallucinogenic. In the end, he is lost in the drunkenness of violence.
Everything is incredibly well portrayed by the ensemble but mainly by Alexander Skarsgård who oscillates between the most extreme emotional states and makes it seem easy.
Brandon Cronenberg explores the deepest nooks and crannies of masculinity but also provides an effectively disgusting critique of elite nihilism and mysticism. Any clichés are remedied thanks to the atmosphere gradually becoming more dreamlike. An alarmingly hovering photo makes some sequences purely psychedelic.
It's unpredictable and terrifying when Brandon Cronenberg leads the audience with a firm hand into hell.
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Watch the interview with Alexander Skarsgård and director Brandon Cronenberg in the clip. Photo: UIP Sweden