December 3, 2021

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Swimming Pool: a review without chlorine but with fangs

Fit for the festival, where we found it, The Pool is a cut, Thai, and relatively trash production. A little Christmas marvel that we recommend to all moviegoers and stray crocophiles.

Who’s still producing a good B series? Many of us relentlessly pursue this kind of pleasure, often reaping disappointment. Indeed, if American cinema likes to remember its dominance in the field from the 1980s, this arrogance has led to its downfall. Who keeps surveying popular productions in search of low or mid-budget popping up against products that quickly lose flavor (Jiu Jitsu), completely nostalgic followers (VFW) or worse, self-proclaimed chicks, has nothing to do with that. . for them rather than a sales argument that often boils down to the wrong offbeat concept (Sky Sharks).

The opposite of The Pool, therefore, a Thai film directed by Ping Lumpraploeng and miraculously ticking all the nuisance boxes it breaks, at the same time being very humble thanks to its concept (a man stays stuck at the bottom of an empty swimming pool with a crocodile) and anything but lazy. A perfect balance between a clear first degree and a separate second degree, a true qualitative indicator of the genre, is achieved. If the screenplay never pokes fun at the stakes, but is as simple as traditionalist, it connects funny scenes, and therefore sometimes downright unexpected.

The Pool makes people laugh without comedy, entertains without betraying its survival status, intelligently alters the suspense sequences and twists of devastating cynicism. Paradoxically ambitious cocktails, often tried, rarely successful, and undeniably entertaining.

A simple and complex recipe, one based on a strong bias: situational extremism, where art forces character misfortune. Impossible but never incoherent, the plot wallows in a sadistic game of showdown, doing everything to highlight just how terrible the fate this hapless protagonist plays out. And inevitably, however evil we may be, we take evil pleasure in contemplating their misfortunes, made up of missed opportunities, horribly bad ideas and ironic climatic coincidences.

It’s a survival in which the real enemy is the scenario, from which the setting in the abyss that opens the film, and some carefully quantified details, such as the ridiculously hilarious lines (“Couldn’t have been worse”) or the hero’s dog name, the final mocking insult of narrative. A very precise narrative that takes great advantage of the original decor, and takes time to sift through its preparation for payment in the applied introduction.

A narrative that is also careful to focus more on the situation than the consequences. Never going head-to-head, this film nonetheless leaves some moments that will horrify many, but don’t indulge in an overdose. A very practical assumption vis–vis a meager budget, not to mention very clever: active climbing, and still good. Especially in the final act, multiplying the micro-climax with delirious rage thanks to the staging applied.

Crocodiles, for example, are not mystical, bloodthirsty beasts, as in the American variation of Teeth of the Sea, but real animals. An animal with a very annoying behavior, of course, but all equally logical. Basically, it only needs sun, and only attacks if you disturb it.

Of course, the special effects oscillate between acceptable and Playstation 2 sprites, and product placement, perhaps the key to funding that, transcends the absurdity of the Transformers 4 commercial. However, the feature film, straight to its boots, brilliantly succeeds in an obscure balancing act. This year, we rarely see more effective in the genre.