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Infinity Pool


  • Theatrical Cut (R-Rated)
  • Uncut (NC-17)
Release: Mar 26, 2023 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Muck47 - external link: IMDB

Comparison between the censored theatrical version (R-Rated) and the uncensored Uncut version (NC-17).

- 20 differences, incl. 12x alternative material & 4 re-cuts
- Difference: 17.7 sec

INFINITY POOL only censored with R-Rating in the USA

Legendary director David Cronenberg attracted some attention again recently with Crimes of the Future in 2022, but more diligent in recent years was his son. Especially the 2020 shocker Possessor by Brandon Cronenberg was often discussed by our readers because it was censorsed for the R-Rating in its theatrical version. Our dedicated report covered this in detail.

Brandon's next flick Infinity Pool celebrated its premiere in the U.S. in early 2023, while international releases mostly followed around March/April. Along with the U.S. release, censorship problems became known in advance. First the MPA punished the film with the NC-17 rating. The distributor Neon appealed this decision and ultimately achieved the R rating for a censored version. While Possessor was released uncut/unrated on Blu-ray in the U.S., only this censored R-Rated version is available as DVD/Blu-ray from April 11, 2023 and is already offered in advance on VOD platforms.

Cronenberg has already indicated that a release of his uncensored original version can also be expected. Allegedly, the uncut version is available online from Neon, but we were unable to verify that. International releases have hardly been announced so far, but fans perked up at the announcement in Cronenberg's home country of Canada. The Blu-ray, also available in April 2023, is advertised there in a big way as "Uncut" and "Débordement". The VOD counterpart from iTunes with the same version is available a bit earlier and we now took a closer look at it for the following report.

Uncut version with more explicit bits of sex and violence

By way of introduction, let's quote Brandon Cronenberg again about the versions:

A surprising amount of stuff got through, to be honest. There are a few changes. There's a few interesting shots that are in the R version that are not in the unrated version. I wouldn't say it's as dramatically different as you might expect. I supervised both cuts.

In fact, the version now released in Canada is likely the one that first received the NC-17 rating from the MPA. The censorship of the R-rated American theatrical version are absolutely typical for the market there and are mostly in the frame range. Quite similar to Possessor, various scenes are reduced in intensity, but still relatively explicit.

As expected, the first scene to be affected is the masturbation scene on the beach, in which Mia Goth's character helps out the protagonist played by Alexander Skarsgård. The close-up including ejaculation was, of course, unthinkable with R-rating - although here, just like in movies by Tinto Brass, you only get to see an artificial penis. During the drugged up orgy in the second half of the film, several more brief moments were removed, in which (alienated) the glans of a penis can be seen. Also other short moments of the orgy were somewhat censored with more colorful alternative images. But no: You don't get to see any more nudity from both Goth and Skarsgård.

The uncut version also packs a punch when it comes to the violence. Particularly extensive knife attacks were apparently not well received by the MPA and the Uncut version now offers a few seconds more to see. Here, too, this is partly accompanied by re-cuts as well as alternative material. It is noticeable in the finale that a close-up of the clone's hand is missing in the uncut version.

As promised by Cronenberg himself, it's certainly not a fundamentally different film. All of the scenes shown work just fine without those little moments, and so you can still be totally fine with the R-Rated U.S. theatrical cut. But since the uncensored original version has now also seen the light of day, many interested parties will certainly prefer it. Whether European countries will even be confronted with the censored version for American cinemas remains to be seen at this point in time anyway.

Runtime details are arranged according to the scheme
Theatrical Version VOD / Uncut VOD

The Canadian VOD starts with another logo from Canadian distributor Elevation Pictures. Not included in cut duration/quantity.

16 sec

18:37 / 18:53-18:57

When Gabi gives James a hand job, there is another close-up in the NC-17 version.

3.9 sec

18:45 / 19:05-19:08

Before the semen drips onto the floor, there is another close-up of James coming to orgasm.

3.5 sec

18:48-18:50 / 19:11

For this, the theatrical version shows a fourth drop of semen in this shot of the floor and also switches back to James a bit earlier.

+ 2.1 sec

Interesting, by the way: In the wild montage about James' treatment, the theatrical version also shows at 37:23 / 37:44 for exactly ONE frame the close-up with the orgasm. In this extremely fast sequence of images, that probably slipped through unnoticed.

42:33 / 42:54-42:56

The boy stabs a few more times. The knife and his hand get bloodier and bloodier. The following shot of the boy also starts a few frames earlier.

1.7 sec

42:42 bzw. 42:43-42:44 / 43:05-43:06

After seeing James' clone spit some blood in a frontal shot, there's a brief close-up of more bloody stabs - which, however, is also shown identical shortly after in the theatrical version after another shot of James.

No runtime difference
Image for orientation

42:44 / 43:07-43:09

Instead, the Uncut has another, more explicit and longer shot. A shred of flesh clearly hangs off to the side here.

1.8 sec

42:48-42:49 / 43:13-43:14

The theatrical version has another side shot of the boy stabbing. The uncut version has a short, clearly more explicit close-up with shredded pieces of meat. Then the boy is shown for a quick moment from another perspective.

No runtime difference

Theatrical Cut / R-RatedUncut / NC-17

42:50-42:55 / 43:15-43:24

In the Uncut / NC-17 there are two more, particularly bloody close-ups with scraps of flesh hanging out. The boy continues to stab. Between two shots of James, the bloodied knife is withdrawn.

The Theatrical Cut instead has a longer, alternative shot of the gasping James. The follow-up shot of the boy's bloody hand also starts about a second earlier.

Uncut 4.5 sec longer

65:45 / 63:14

The next James double gushes blood from his slit throat for a moment longer.

0.4 sec

65:49 / 63:19

The next shot of him is also a few frames longer.

0.5 sec

73:43-73:50 / 74:13-74:20

Peculiar censorship: During the orgy under the influence of drugs, single frames of colorful effects are generally inserted briefly all the time. When the camera pulls back to show the man masturbating on the edge of the bed, however, the theatrical version has many more such effects, while the Uncut shows the shot almost continuously. In frames that are identical in themselves, lighting effects have also been added over an exposed butt. The rest of the tracking shot with sexually active actors was further toned down a little in this artistic way. Towards the end a few frames of Gabi are exclusive to the R-Rated version.

No runtime difference

Theatrical Cut / R-RatedUncut / NC-17

74:36-74:38 / 75:06-75:08

While the Uncut here shows a glans in close-up, the theatrical version offers unclear shots of bodies.

Note: 4 seconds later, however, a single frame of an erect penis made it into the theatrical version as well.

No runtime difference

Theatrical Cut / R-RatedUncut / NC-17

Alternative / Re-cut
75:23-75:28 / 75:53-75:58

Very hard to categorize or describe more accurately, but again, a short section of the weird montage has been given multiple alternate frames in a different order. The Uncut apparently shows how genitals are played with.

No runtime difference

Theatrical Cut / R-RatedUncut / NC-17

75:37-75:38 / 76:07-76:08

Different distorted shots again. A woman with a mask in the theatrical version, labia (?) in close-up in the Uncut.

No runtime difference

Theatrical Cut / R-RatedUncut / NC-17

75:42-75:43 / 76:12-76:13

Again, it is relatively unclear what is happening exactly.

No runtime difference

Theatrical Cut / R-RatedUncut / NC-17

76:09-76:10 / 76:39-76:40

Here, once again, a short close-up of penis/glans was exchanged.

No runtime difference

Theatrical Cut / R-RatedUncut / NC-17

Alternative / Re-cut
76:16-76:20 / 76:47-76:51

The Uncut immediately shows sucking on the nipple. For this, the theatrical version has a shot of a woman exclusively and then another colorful image. This is followed by another exclusive shot in the Uncut, as in close-up a vagina tears open and a phallus comes out of it.

No runtime difference

Theatrical Cut / R-RatedUncut / NC-17

102:18 / 102:48-102:49

After some shots of James were seen identically, here is an alternate take and an additional shot in the Uncut. A shred of flesh hangs off to the side more clearly.

Uncut 0.7 sec longer

Theatrical Cut / R-RatedUncut / NC-17

102:19 / 102:50

After a short cut to James, the next shot of the crushed clone is different as well. The Uncut now obviously shows the short moment that the theatrical version already used 1 sec before - but here the shot runs longer at the end and so you can see the eye from the demolished head.

Uncut 0.1 sec longer

Theatrical Cut / R-RatedUncut / NC-17

Alternative / Re-cut
102:20-102:38 / 102:51-103:10

The rest of the scene was re-cut in a slightly more complex way, so we have to summarize it here.

In the Theatrical Cut you first see an exclusive shot of the blood-spattered hand of the clone and then in quick 7 frames another blow on the head is shown. This is followed by a longer shot of James looking aghast and a tracking shot along his bloodied hand.

In the Uncut / NC-17 you directly get to see the blow on the head instead. However, the shot here is 17 frames long and thus the protruding eyes and the bloody overall result are better visible both before and after the blow. This is followed by a short shot of James and the tracking shot along his bloodied hand. Afterwards, he looks aghast, although this shot starts later and is longer at the end than in the theatrical version. Finally, another shot of the smashed clone head.

Uncut 0.6 sec longer

After identical credits, only the theatrical version (at least in the present VOD release) still has a reference to the MPA rating. The uncut VOD has a final distributor note instead after the various following production logos.

Theatrical Cut / R-RatedUncut / NC-17