Hot Take: One of the most pleasant surprises of 2018. Too bad it only made it to 20 theaters… guess you’ll have to be pleasantly surprised on DVD or streaming.
The Endless debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival over a year ago. The low-budget Sci-Fi flick from directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Benson also wrote and the pair also starred) took another year to get a theatrical release. The fourth collaboration from Benson and Moorhead since 2012 made it to 20 screens which happens to be the widest release of their film careers. It’s a shame, too. The Endless has a compelling plot about two brothers who escaped a UFO death cult but have struggled adjusting to life in the mainstream since leaving the group. Benson and Moorhead star as the brothers and the independent look and feel is evident but also, the quality of this small, relatively unknown film is also obvious from start to finish. While not quite a 5 star film, The Endless offers up a successful Sci-Fi flick on a shoestring budget with a tinge of horror and a number of unique twists.
After receiving a cryptic video message from the cult they were once part of, brothers Justin and Aaron decide to return to Camp Arcadia for a visit to their dysfunctional extended family to look for closure that has eluded them since leaving the cult. When they arrive, a number of unusual and unexplained phenomena keep them wondering what exactly is going on at the camp as Aaron grows closer to his former cult-mates while Justin feels the influence he has over his brother slipping as he wants to get away from the cult once and for all.
Since there’s a commitment to spoiler-free reviews, discussing the plot of The Endless any further is impossible. Even if this were a site that contained spoilers, this is not a film you should walk in knowing anything. It makes the viewing experience that much better. The film is not only smart but funny and also features a few eerie moments that builds tension and creates an unconventional feel that has eluded most films. It was more present in the Film School Era of films from a few decades ago but now feels fresh and refreshing as we’ve been bombarded with big budget films for most of the year with a small budget movie drought. Thanks to Benson and Moorhead, here’s a film for the cinephile worn out by the typical studio film.
Unfortunately, it’s highly unlikely the cinephile will get to see this in theaters since The Endless is down to 7 theaters as of this week. It’ll hold up well on the smaller screen, though. It’s strong enough to make me want to go back and watch the other films from this pair and also look forward to what they might do next.
You can appreciate how impressive it is when a small budget Sci-Fi flick works.
You’ve seen Avengers: Infinity War 5 times.