Tuesday, October 16, 2018

31 Days of Dread--Day 16

The Endless; 2017; written by Justin Benson; directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead

There's a mystery at the center of The Endless, one that loops and circles around on itself and might well keep viewers returning to it, just like the film's main characters.

Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead play brothers--conveniently named Justin and Aaron--who escaped a "UFO death cult" ten years ago. Since then, their aimless lives have been stuck on repeat. Until the day a videotape from the group arrives in the mail, and Aaron convinces Justin to return for "closure."

They receive a warm welcome and find everyone no older than the day they left. When Justin expresses surprise at this the leader smiles ambiguously and says, "We're always here."

Strange events soon begin piling up. The group plays tug of war with a rope that rises into the night sky. Characters mysteriously leave and return. Two moons appear and a third is promised, which will herald something called "the ascension." Each causes the brothers--and viewers--to question what's real and what's attributable to the cult's influence.

Benson and Moorehead are known as purveyors of smart, low-budget horror, and The Endless is yet another entry in a career filling up with them. It proves that a big idea, handled well, can beat a big budget.

The Endless is available on Netflix, Amazon Prime and streaming rental.

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