Infinity Pool (2023): The meaning of the film, the explanation of the ending, the plot summary, similar films. What Really Happened at the End of Infinity Pool?
Country: Canada, Croatia, Hungary
Genre: Thriller, Drama, Science Fiction, Crime, Horror
Year of production: 2023
Director: Brandon Cronenberg
Actors: Alexander Skarsgard, Mia Goth, Cleopatra Coleman
In 2023, director Brandon Cronenberg released his third feature film about wealthy tourists having fun at a resort in a fictional third world country. The point of the film “Infinity Pool” is not only to show how the Bauers and their ilk spend their time, but also to show how a person changes in conditions of complete impunity and what vices he indulges in.
What is the movie about?
Analysis of the plot will help to better understand the meaning of the film Infinity Pool.
James Foster, a writer, is having trouble coming up with an idea for a new book. In search of inspiration with his wife, Em, he travels to a resort in the fictional Third World country of Le Tolca. Foreigners are not liked here, so the hotel area is behind barbed wire, it is forbidden to leave it.
Alexander Skarsgård played writer James Foster and Mia Goth played Gaby Bauer. Frame from the film.
At Le Tolca, the Fosters meet Gaby Bauer, an admirer of James and her husband Alban. Together with new acquaintances, they have dinner, and in the morning they go on a picnic outside the resort in a rented car.
At a picnic, the company drinks a lot of alcohol. In the evening, Alban says he’s too drunk, so James gets behind the wheel. On the way, the headlights of the car go out, and Foster knocks a man to death in the dark. Em and James want to call the police, but the Bauers say that this cannot be done, because the country has cruel customs and they will be dealt with without trial. The company leaves the dead man on the road and returns home.
In the morning, the Fosters are woken up by the police, arrested and taken to the police station. After a while, Detective Iral Thresh comes to James. He says that the Bauer and Em spouses gave a description of the events that took place: the company stole a car from a hotel worker, and then a drunken driver, James, hit a farmer living nearby. After that, they did not call the police and left the scene of the crime without permission. Tresh explains that according to local law, James must now be killed by the farmer’s eldest son in order to preserve the family’s honor.
Further, from the content of Iran Tresh’s monologue, it becomes known that the country is loyal to tourists and offers a way out: the criminal pays a large amount, in return they create his double in the station and allow the victim’s son to execute him. As a result, everyone wins: the state treasury is replenished, the family retains honor, and the foreigner remains alive. Foster agrees to such terms, signs a contract and hands over the money to the police. The man is placed in a chamber filled with a thick red liquid to make a doppelgänger. During the procedure, James hallucinates and loses consciousness.
The man wakes up in the ward, his wife is next to him. He is informed that the procedure was successful. James is shown a doppelgänger and explained that the Fosters are legally required to watch him get killed.
The execution is carried out in the basement of the site. The doppelgänger is tied to a pole with spectators sitting opposite, James and Em among them. The farmer’s thirteen-year-old son is brought in. He approaches the doppelgänger and stabs him repeatedly with a knife. Em turns away, but James watches the massacre in fascination. The Fosters are released.
Shocked, Em packs up and wants to fly home. James says he can’t find his passport, which means they won’t let him out. He invites his wife to return alone, and he will arrive later.
Further on in the plot of the film Infinity Pool, Foster goes to the reception and extends his stay by a week. Here he meets Gabi. The girl says that the first time they came to the country, because Alban was offered the position of an adviser on the construction of a neighboring resort. A panoramic pool was erected in the hotel, Alban’s project. During the work, a tragedy occurred, two workers died. The owner of the hotel laid the blame on the architect. As a result, the Bowers also paid for the execution of their doubles.
Gaby invites James to the villa and introduces him to friends who are wealthy tourists. All of them also committed crimes and escaped with the execution of doubles. This is Charles, Jennifer, Dr. Modan and Bax. Charles promises James to solve his passport problem. Alban reveals that the resort owner who framed the architect received a medal for helping Le Tolca prosper. The Bowers want revenge: break into his house, steal the award and take it for themselves. James goes with them.
Frame from the film.
A company wearing ritual masks breaks into the resort’s owner’s house, ties him and others present, and taunts them at gunpoint. Suddenly, a man with a gun appears and starts a gunfight. Alban was wounded in the leg, the residents of the house were killed. The Bauers, James and the others are arrested by the police, but they pay again and are released.
Further, the plot of the thriller “Infinity Pool” shows how James returns home, quarrels with Em and sends her home. He returns to the company of the Bauers and their friends, uses drugs with them and participates in an orgy. Charles says that he talked about his passport, but the problem is Iran Treshe: the detective is against James’ departure, because he wants to make even more money from him.
The company comes up with the idea to kidnap Thresh and get revenge. They arrive at the hospital where the detective is. Foster stays by the car while the others go into the building and soon get Thresh out with a sack over his head.
Thresh is brought to the Bauer villa. James, under the influence of drugs, brutally beats the detective, and then, after removing the bag from his head, finds that he beat his double. James is told that this is a prank. Shocked, Foster goes home, takes his passport from under the sink (the hidden meaning of this scene is that he hid the document in order to stay at the hotel) and leaves for the airport in the morning.
The bus with James is catching up with the Bauers and the others in cars. Firing a gun, Gabi forces the driver to hand over Foster. The girl tells James that he is pathetic and all this time the company had fun, mocking him. She reveals that she has never read his book and is not a fan of his.
Seizing the moment, Foster flees. Gaby shoots at him and wounds him in the leg. Limping, James goes to the farmer’s house and passes out. Residents bring it into the house. Foster in delirium sees hallucinations. Waking up, he goes outside and sees that the Bowers and the others have found him. Charles brings out the dog – another double of James in a collar and on a leash – and Gaby suggests that Foster kill him. The meaning of this action is that only through the blood, James will be freed from the past, become strong and be able to join them. The man refuses, but the clone is set against him. In the fight, James punches the doppelgänger to death.
At the end of the film “Infinity Pool”, James informs his wife that he is returning and with the Bowers and company is going to the airport. He sits silently, the rest communicate and discuss what they will do after returning. At the airport, he watches everyone go to land, while he himself remains in the waiting room.
The final minutes of the thriller show James arriving at an indoor resort that houses an abandoned infinity pool designed by Alban. The weather is getting worse. Foster sits in a sun lounger in the pouring rain and thinks about something.
The meaning of the ending of the film Infinity Pool has different interpretations. One of them says that James is fully aware of himself and his worst sides and understands that he should stay at the resort: there is no place for him in a normal life.
Another explanation is that the real James was killed at the first execution or one of the subsequent ones. Instead of him, a double acted all this time. It was created in the resort and remains here, there is no place for it outside of it.
Other clues to the final are also possible: it is ambiguous, and therefore everyone can perceive it in their own way.
Frame from the film.
The meaning of the film Infinity Pool
The essence of the film Infinity Pool is an exposure of the world of the rich. In Le Tolca, the punishment for many offenses is death, but an exception is made for tourists with money. It is enough to pay a large amount, and instead of the criminal, his double will be executed.
Upon learning of this, the Bowers understand that in the country you can have fun as you like. They find like-minded people and do whatever they want with them: participate in orgies, use drugs, mock locals and other tourists. They have no pity for others and enjoy watching the execution of their doubles.
The scene where the clones put on a performance and then they are killed is indicative: the Bauers and their friends are tired of watching the usual execution. The police are not trying to stop the rich: they bring good income to the state. The local detective even assists them: he allows him to play James and provides his double.
At the end of the holiday, the Bauers and the others return home. Already on the bus, they do not differ from ordinary people: modestly dressed, they talk about what they will do after returning. At the airport, they say goodbye until next summer, knowing that they will return here again.
The hidden meaning of dating James for the Bowers is to mock him and have fun. This is what Gaby directly tells Foster in the second half of the movie Infinity Pool. She accuses the man of being pathetic, ridiculous and weak. At the same time, James is given the opportunity to transform and become strong and equal to Bowers and company: this is an explanation of the ending, when a man is offered to kill his double and, at the same time, a reference to the scene after Em’s departure: in it, Gaby explains to James that women like his wife , always make men consider themselves weak.
Frame from the film.
To regain strength, they have to work, get it with sweat and blood. After that, she regularly invites Foster to show his strength, such as in the scene with the beating of the detective. However, according to their plan, James can become truly strong only after shedding blood and killing his clone.
Foster himself wants to get closer to the Bauers and the rest, he likes what is happening around him, but he has not yet completely erased his ideas about the limits of what is permitted. Under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he can do anything: break into a mansion, beat up, as he himself believes, a detective.
However, upon discovering that he beat his own double, Foster is horrified and runs away to return home: the meaning is that he still retained something human in himself. Perhaps that is why in the finale of Infinity Pool he is offered to kill the clone: this will allow James to finally transform and become the same as the Bowers and company. However, the final scene hints that this did not happen: Foster does not join new friends and does not fly home to return a year later. James goes his own way and stays at Le Tolca. Why does he do it? This act of his can be understood in different ways, but the most likely assumption is that he realized his actions and understands who he has become.
The meaning of the thriller Infinity Pool is to show how, due to the lack of any responsibility, consciousness changes, and a person begins to indulge in the lowest vices. This happened to the Bowers and their friends. Did this happen to James? Unknown. The final minutes of the film allow everyone to draw their own conclusion.
Where was the movie filmed?
Filming of Infinity Pool began in the Croatian city of Sibenik, at the Amadria Park resort, and then continued in Hungary.
Frame from the film.
- “Clone” (USA, Finland, 2021). A terminally ill girl orders her own clone to replace her for her loved ones after death. After recovering, she has to fight with him for the right to live on.
- The Menu (USA, 2022). A group of wealthy tourists go to a famous restaurant on the island for an exclusive dinner.
- Fantasy Island (USA, 2020). Five people arrive on a mysterious island, where the mysterious Mr. Roarke promises to fulfill their cherished dreams.