Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Deep Dish Dive Danger

Some movie ideas are so stripped down that they seem ingenious at first blush, and The Pool (playing on Shudder right now) is certainly right amid that ilk, simply asking "What if you woke up and you were trapped inside a swimming pool with an alligator? Go!" I wish that simple idea had stayed simple enough; it even is for awhile, and it sure doesn't hurt that its beautiful leading man Theeradej Wongpuapan is outfitted in a soaking wet tank top, and then even less, for all of the film's runtime. Go on and give me a show, The Pool!

But stripped down ideas usually do need some padding in order to make it to feature film length, and that's where The Pool gets into some trouble. Because The Pool decides the quickest way to complicate its plot is to have its characters make a series of outrageously dumb decisions and mistakes -- this happens a lot with this should-be-simple movies; it's the main swimming-pool-with-alligator booby-trap out there for them, I guess. But it's egregious to the point of wanting to reach through the screen and slap the characters in The Pool, and more than once, and I'm not just talking about wanting to reach through the screen and slap Theeradej's butt for the fun stuff unfortunately.

The film also saddles itself with an often offensive abortion plot-line for some reason -- basically the arc for Theeradej's character is that learning to survive this alligator attack will make him see that abortion is bad and wrong, and if you think I am kidding you can watch The Pool yourself, it's on Shudder, like I said. This seemed like it's maybe a cultural thing -- it's mentioned that abortion is illegal in Thailand inside the context of the film -- but it doesn't play well here in the U.S. in 2020, where a woman's right to choose is in far more literal danger than any CG-alligator-in-a-swimming-pool can conjure up.

But I'll admit that The Pool pulls through in the end with a really darkly funny resolution to the conundrums it has set up for itself, building all the extraneous bits from across its run-time into a blitzkrieg of thigh-slappers -- abortion gibberish aside it's hard not to get caught up in the tale as old as time spectacle of Hot Man vs. Pissed Off Alligator. I'd just have loved for The Pool to shed a little bit more of its excess skin, or maybe at the least Theeradej's excess pants if nothing else I mean come on...


Anonymous said...


Jason Adams said...

See, I normally would've looked up which it was, croc or gator (I can never tell which is which), but the tweet I shared in the middle of this thing must've coddled me into complacency with the gator assumption. So it's their fault, is my point. Also I am lazy.

Carl said...

I have no desire to acquaint myself further with this film, but I am sincerely grateful to know of its existence and see the photos.