For better or worse — spoilers, it’s worse — I’m still thinking of Infinity Pool days after seeing it. It’s not necessarily a movie that I was looking forward to, per se; I’m unfamiliar with Brandon Cronenberg’s work to date, but my quasi-crush on Mia Goth after the double-header of X and Pearl last year had me curious, and the trailer had enough in it that I was more than ready to head to the theater when it arrived, especially as it also meant a chance for a date with Chloe, who was far more into Cronenberg, Goth, and the trailer, as well as the movie itself.
Unfortunately, the movie turned out to be… hollow might be the best way to describe it. So many of the ingredients are there — it looks good, and the sound mixing and design and music are shockingly good, carrying multiple scenes all by themselves — but there’s nothing new or interesting being said by the movie, despite a palpable smugness to the contrary. It’s the cinematic equivalent to talking to someone so convinced not only if their moral superiority, but also that their intellectual superiority, even as they’re making the most boring and meaningless statements possible.
For example: did you know that rich people are monsters that dehumanize others? Did you know that, when people go on vacation, they do things that they never would in their everyday lives? Did you, though? There’s a science fiction gimmick at the heart of Infinity Pool that unlocks the potential for existential dread, but it’s only ever clumsily used, and never explored, as if the mere hint is somehow enough in and of itself; it’s not, and the lack of that exploration feels like a signifier of the movie’s disinterest in anything other than itself.
It’s not even that I disliked the movie; there’s not enough there even for that. Instead, I just… was disappointed by it, and saddened that, given the potential for anything that lived up to its own self-belief in its transgressive qualities, my main takeaway from the whole thing was my unhappiness at Mia Goth’s real accent finally being on display.