I Love You Times Infinity (CREDIT: NEON)

Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Mia Goth, Cleopatra Coleman, Jalil Lespert, Thomas Kretschmann, Amanda Brugel

Director: Brandon Cronenberg

Running Time: 117 Minutes

Rating: R for Nearly X-Rated Levels of Nudity, Sadistic Violence, and Hard Drug Use Amidst a Series of Potentially Seizure-Inducing Flashing Lights

Release Date: January 27, 2022 (Theaters)

What’s It About?: Writer James Foster (Alexander Skarsgård) and his rich wife Em (Cleopatra Coleman) are on vacation at some resort, where everything seems just a little bit … off. ATVs zip around with impunity, capturing a slight hint of lawlessness. But strap in tight, because soon enough, everything will feel completely off and there will be an all-encompassing specter of lawlessness. James and En are guided down this path by fellow vacationers Gabi (Mia Goth) and Alban (Jalil Lespert), who promise them fun, but instead lead them right into the crosshairs of the law. A horrible accident has James facing the death penalty, but he’s offered an out. You see, on this resort, cloning technology exists, so instead, James can witness (and revel in) the execution of his double. It’s an easy choice, but soon enough, he finds himself caught within a labyrinth of doubles that it might be impossible to escape from.

What Made an Impression?: “Infinity Pool” sounds like a brand of hot tub, doesn’t it? And that’s appropriate, because Infinity Pool the movie feels like something that was cooked up by someone who fell asleep in a hot tub for a whole night (or maybe a whole year). But knowing writer-director Brandon Cronenberg, this mindfuck energy is just a fundamental part of his DNA. (It runs in the family.) The whole affair is an orgy of blood flashing lights (as well as a literal orgy) that may very well also be a dream. A deep, nightmarish, wonderfully satisfying dream. Every twist and turn regarding James and his doubles paradoxically feels like both a relief and a further descent into madness.

Serving as the ringleader of this twisted paradise, Cronenberg has opted for the perfect muse in the form of Mia Goth. Fresh off the one-two 2022 punch of X and Pearl, she’s been set loose once again on an unsuspecting public. Her wails of “Jaaaaaaaaaaaaames!” as she leans out the side of a convertible is the freshest earworm of the moment.

There were times during my journey through Infinity Pool that I was hoping for a logical explanation of what exactly was going on. Had James secretly planned this all from the beginning? Was it some sort of simulation? It’s a tricky task to nail that sort of reveal, but when done right, it’s immensely satisfying. But Cronenberg is much more interested in nailing the vibes of it all, and understandably so, because the vibes that he conjures are unforgettable. Infinity Pool is not for the faint of heart, or the faint of libido, or the faint of anything really, but when it all comes together, it’s also oddly serene. I emerged from a new cocoon disturbed, but also comforted.

Infinity Pool is Recommended If You Like: Resident Evil (The clone parts), The Game, Masks, Blinding colors

Grade: 3.5 out of 5 Doubles