Do we ever really know where we are going or where we have been? What if we were trapped in a n endless loop but conscious of it? These are truly terrifying concepts if you delve into them and exactly what Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead do in their new film THE ENDLESS. As usual with these two, the film is layered and is as much about choices as it is everything else. Thought provoking, conversation stirring and frightening in its implications, THE ENDLESS is a self reflective film who’s truest horror lies in the interpretation of the viewer.
Justin and Aaron Smith (Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead) are brothers who were raised in a cult but chose to leave after their eyes were opened. Though Justin seems good with his choices in life (at least concerning the cult), Aaron has missed his former life. Aaron’s inner wish is granted when they return to the cult after a seeing a video from old friend Anna (Callie Hernandez) that claims that the cult has ascended in a typically new age “what the hell does that mean?” kinda way. Justin is less than enthused by the thought of returning, but the promise of real food (something lacking in their current diet) makes the decision to support his brother easier. Though it has been 10 years since they fled, they are welcomed with mostly open arms, which is a frightening prospect all on its own.
Things immediately seem wrong. Everyone looks the same, and not in an Elvira Mistress of the Dark kinda way, Anna, who is 20 years their senior, looks their age still, if not younger. It is as if time has stopped within the cult. As if they are in a bubble. As the day turns into night, things grow more and more curious. A tug of robe is particularly odd as it is connected to nothing. It could be a trick of the darkness and it could be something more. After a falling out with one of the prominent members, it is time to leave and this is where things really get scary. Not in a “they won’t let us” kinda way, but an “it won’t let us” way. To give anything away at this point would be a disservice to the film, but I will say that what they discover answers the questions you may have in this film as well as provide a sad and terrifying coda to their film debut, RESOLUTION.
THE ENDLESS is full of choices and the questions that that surround them. There are no easy answers here and the end, though satisfying, leaves room for interpretation. The ending can be both sad, happy and horrifying, depending on where you land. One thing the film left me with was an appreciation for tomorrow, no matter what it brings at least it brings hope, for the possibility of an inescapable routine is all too real.
THE ENDLESS has just premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival but knowing the fan base these two have, which will no doubt grow due to their excellent turn as actors, I’ve no doubt it will make its way to your home soon. When it does, be prepared. The film will answer some questions and create new ones with every viewing. Questions that may seem endless.