PARK CITY, UTAH - JANUARY 21: Masked people pose on the carpet during the 2023 Sundance Film Festival "Infinity Pool" Premiere at The Ray Theatre on January 21, 2023 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
How Infinity Pool Channels A Stanley Kubrick Classic
Spoiler Warning!
This story contains spoilers for "Infinity Pool" and "The Shining."
In “Infinity Pool,” director Brandon Cronenberg presents a world where the obscenely wealthy can avoid the consequences of their actions by making a payment to allow a clone of themselves to take the fall instead. What follows is a darkly hilarious satire with some interesting thematic connections to a horror classic.
There are quite a few similarities between the journeys of the leads in “Infinity Pool” and Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining.” Jack from Kubrick’s film and James from Cronenberg’s are both writers struggling to write, and both are staying in places that should give them plenty of space to work, but in fact lead to their demise.
The rich folk in “Infinity Pool” have made a hobby out of murder, and welcome James to join them, prompting his transformation into a violent beast. Similarly, as the Overlook Hotel causes Jack Torrance to lose his grip on reality, the hotel's ghosts give him gifts that encourage him to act on his worst impulses.
In “The Shining,” Jack is allured by a beautiful woman, when he realizes she’s merely a mirage covering up something uglier. This corrupted temptation is mirrored in “Infinity Pool” by James’s attraction to fellow resort-goer Gabi; in both films, the characters are blinded by temptation and are willing to give up almost everything.
A key difference is that, unlike Jack, James is aware of what he has become, and as he sees the monsters stepping back into the disguise of human skin, he refuses to continue spreading the disease. Even so, both characters willingly mold themselves into monsters that can never leave their isolated paradise.