Review: THE ENDLESS
With their previous two features, Resolution and Spring, co-auteurs Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead quickly established themselves as a formidable unit; a two-headed dragon of sorts, who brought straight fire in the form some of the best genre fare of the last decade. I’ll even go one step further and say that Spring is one of the most beautiful films ever made. Their latest, The Endless, meanwhile, continues their hot streak and shows that they’re just as capable as onscreen performers as they are behind the camera.
The story revolves around two brothers (played by Moorhead and Benson) who are feeling a little lost in life. So, naturally, they return to the cult they fled from years before in the hopes of finding some purpose again. I’m sure I don’t only speak for myself when I say we’ve all been there.
Upon their return to their old stomping grounds, however, they soon learn that the conspiracy theories they escaped from before were perhaps a little far-fetched. Could this cult be normal, even? Of course, nothing is ever normal in these situations, and what they find is literally out of this world. What ensues is a cosmological mystery involving monsters, time-travel, and moments of surreal trippiness for good measure.
If there’s one thing Benson and Moorhead have established in their short careers thus far it’s to always expected the unexpected. Their movies are existential dramas with sprinklings of horror, science fiction and fantasy elements and The Endless is no different. While the film enters some pretty mind-boggling and scary territory, it’s the humanity of the characters and the performances which makes this such a captivating journey. That and the pair’s portrayal of the siblings in question feels authentic, while their onscreen chemistry together is infectious. You feel like you’re really hanging out with these dudes through the highs and the lows, and when things start getting weird you’re right there with them for the ride. Never before has being mindfucked felt so rooted in social realism.
The Endless is also a fresh addition to the crazed cult subgenre. The sect in question here aren’t particularly maniacal for the most part, but there’s definitely something off about them and the whole situation. As the mystery unfolds, we’re led down a path which leaves more questions than answers, but it’s a hell of a journey nonetheless, and one that begs to be taken several times before sense can be made of it all.
The Endless is yet another reminder that Benson and Moorhead are two of the most original and exciting talents in the game today. This is the type of cinema that deserves our support, as it’s brimming with imagination and ambition. Spread the word far and wide about this movie, because we need films like this to succeed so filmmakers like these dragons can continue trailblazing their way to the top. Trust me: these fellas are the real deal, and The Endless is already one of the best films of 2018.