The Endless is a low budget film. You can just tell. From the (at times) poor acting to the poor lighting and the average special effects. However monetary constraints do not stop Aaron Moorhead (Co-Director) and Justin Benson (Writer and Co-Director) from creating a film that is vividly enjoyable. A film that keeps you intrigued. A film that makes you ask questions. A film that, despite everything it lacks, has everything you need.
The Endless follows two brothers Aaron (Aaron Moorhead) and Justin (Justin Benson) that are finding it hard to readjust to normal life after escaping what they believed to be a suicidal cult. After receiving a strange video from the cult in the mail, Aaron convinces Justin to return the group for a visit. Upon arrival everything seems normal, however as their visit continues, more questions are raised, and the brothers begin to discover the terrifying reality of where they are and what they are caught up in.
Moorhead and Benson have given themselves the main gigs, most likely due to the low budget of the film. In the beginning both of their performances are pretty shaky, but as the film goes on the writer/directors clean up their act (pun intended) and become somewhat convincing. The rest of the cast are relatively unknown but are worthy support, the stand out of the lot though was James Jordon as “Shitty Carl”.
Now I have to say, any time I see an indie film in which the writer/director uses their own name as their characters name, alarm bells start to ring. If they can’t even give their character an original name, then what does that say about the film? But with The Endless all is forgiven, this film is so mind-bending, so original and just so intriguing that I doubt Moorhead or Benson had any brain power left to think of original names after developing such an amazing concept.
I must point out again, that this film is original. In a world of remakes, spin offs, ‘based-on’s’ and sequels, the filmmakers have actually come up with an original idea. It is easy to say that there are a number of films that in a way incorporate some of the concepts used in The Endless but not in the way that Justin Benson has written them. I even googled “mind bending films” to try and find anything that I felt was remotely similar to compare it to. I couldn’t. Having said that, the film exists in the same universe as their first work of art, Resolution, but only as far as using some of the same characters.
The Endless is not a blockbuster with an advertising campaign that will have you salivating at the release of the first teaser. You won’t be camping overnight for theatre tickets and there won’t even be a line up at the counter. It is a smart and masterful independent sci-fi thriller and I urge you to give it a go. You will be surprised.
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