Bloody-Disgusting reports that the movie received an NC-17 rating from the MPA this week for “some graphic violence and sexual content,” but producer NEON intends to appeal to the C.A.R.A Appeals Board for a less extreme rating. Given the Cronenberg family’s penchant for body horror and other subversive material, the rating doesn’t come as a big surprise. But over the years, an NC-17 rating proves disastrous for a movie’s box-office success. Andrew Dominik‘s “Blonde,” another recent high-profile NC-17-rated film, may dodge those issues thanks to it being a Netflix production, but that’s the exception, not the rule. If NEON, Topic Studios, and Cronenberg want “Infinity Pool” to win at the box office, they need an R rating, not an NC-17.
Even the star power of Mia Goth and Alexander Skarsgård may not help “Infinity Pool” if it keeps its NC-17 rating. Skarsgård also serves as executive producer on the film, so he likely wants the film to be as financially successful as possible. But if the film wins over critics like “Crash,” which won the Special Jury Prize at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival, an NC-17 rating could help “Infinity Pool” gain powerful cult status. A lower rating helps the movie more all-around, though, so it makes sense that NEON wants to appeal.
Here’s the official logline for “Infinity Pool”: James and Em are young, rich, in love, and on vacation. Their all-inclusive resort boasts island tours and gleaming beaches. But outside of the hotel gates waits something much more dangerous and seductive, beyond the edge of paradise. The plot alone gives off strong J.G. Ballard vibes, the novelist whose “Crash” David Cronenberg adapted for his 1996 film. Beyond Goth and Skarsgård, the film also stars Thomas Kretschmann, Amanda Brugel, Caroline Boulton, and John Ralston. Goth recently starred in Ti West‘s two horror movies, “X” and “Pearl,” while Skarsgård starred in Robert Eggers’ “The Northman.”