The Endless is a difficult film to review because there’s so little that can be said about it without giving things away and saying anything about the plot beyond the barest of overviews would be doing the story a disservice. This deserves to be watched properly from beginning to end.
The setup is simple enough. Two brothers, Justin and Aaron (played by writer/director Justin Benson and co-director Aaron Moorhead respectively), living on the breadline, suddenly receive a mysterious and strangely well-traveled video in the mail from the people of a camp/cult/commune they were once members of and they return to see what has happened in the ten years they have been gone and find some sense of closure. From here things spiral from the mundane to the strange very quickly with a few brief stops in “Did we just see that-ville” and “WTF Avenue” along the way that will likely have you reaching for the rewind button on more than one occasion.
And that is genuinely all that can be said about the plot here without giving things away, and as mentioned above this film deserves to be viewed without spoilers. Details are drip fed slowly to the audience throughout the 89 minute running time, allowing the story to unfold organically. While the story is quite slow to begin with, enough hints are dropped to keep the audience engaged and wanting to know more.
However, there are a couple more details that can be shared without spoiling things. Ready?
1. This is not a horror movie. Not as such, though some moments can be described as horrific. If anything the main focus of the story is the relationship between Justin and Aaron, which is so skillfully written you could easily believe the pair are indeed brothers.
2. Shitty Carl is the best character in the entire film (and that is actually how his name shows up in the credits).
This is the fourth effort from the acting/writing/directing team of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead and it is a delight to see just what can be accomplished with a low budget and a small cast. A tight script and great acting make up for any financial deficiencies. Their other projects are Resolution, a segment called Bonestorm on V/H/S:Viral and their other project, Spring.
Resolution will be included on the Blu-ray with The Endless. Spring, unfortunately, has never had an official UK release on HD physical media, though it can be bought on DVD or purchased in HD format through Amazon Video, and the Blu-ray can be imported from Spain, Italy and Canada. V/H/S:Viral is also only available on DVD, though it can also be purchased in HD through Amazon video.
The soundtrack is composed by Jimmy LaValle, founder of a band called “The Album Leaf” and is heavily electronic, almost entirely instrumental and almost atonal in places. It can be listened to/purchased on Bandcamp and when listened to in isolation, outside of the movie, it stands on its own rather nicely as an interesting musical journey. Standout tracks include “Who’s Ready?”, “Bottom of the Lake” and “Burn it”.
The Endless is a small movie, with a small budget, a small cast and a small release in only a handful of movie theatres in the USA and it’s a movie that deserves more attention and acclaim than it’s received until now. If you are a sci-fi fan, if you are a fan of indie movies, if you are a fan of well-written characters, a fan of mysteries or the paranormal, than this film is worth your time.
THE ENDLESS is released by Arrow Films in Cinemas, and via Arrow Video on Digital HD on Friday 29th June and will also be released on DVD & Blu-ray via Arrow Video on 2nd July. Check out the official trailer below: