Monday, September 24, 2018

The Endless (2017)

I was THRILLED to see this one drop on Netflix recently.

It's absolutely apparent that The Endless comes from the same hearts, minds, and imaginations as Spring. This is another beautiful, thoughtful, funny horror from Moorhead and Benson, and I really loved it!

Justin (Justin Benson) and Aaron (Aaron Moorhead)

It feels very shared universe (more on that later), displaying the same over-saturated, dusty, dreamy quality as their 2014 effort. There's also a similar feeling of this dream-like existence being on the cusp of something immense and threatening.

The Endless is a story of two brothers (played with warmth and humour by Benson and Moorhead themselves) visiting the supposed cult they grew up in, after several years trying to have normal lives out in the real world.

What is initially planned to be fleeting visit leads to some shocking discoveries once back within the folds of this group.

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the Unknown.  
 H.P. Lovecraft. 

The "cult" members all seem perfectly nice, if a little weird; the oddness and inexplicable occurrences at their camp becoming more frequent and unsettling with a steady pace. From the get-go we know something is wrong, but Moorhead & Benson take their time giving the audience a breadcrumb trail of glimpses and moments as we discover the unbelievable truth along with the brothers.

It feels at once a cop-out and a courtesy to anyone interested in seeing this to speak as little as possible about its major plot points or themes, other than saying I was surprised how much heart it had, ultimately. And like Spring, they struck a beautiful balance here, making this tale at once so intimate and so astronomical.

So yes, if you liked Spring, definitely see this. If you haven't seen Spring then I heartily recommend both! I am really enjoying the work from this team and I must seek out their first film, Resolution, which somehow I'd missed. There is a very definite crossover narrative from that debut to The Endless, but the filmmakers themselves say you don't have to have seen either to enjoy both.

If you have seen The Endless already, may I recommend this podcast episode from The Evolution of Horror, talking to Benson and Moorhead themselves? They seem like such nice blokes, and they have some very interesting and entertaining stuff to say!

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