The Endless is a sci-fi thriller/mystery about two brothers who return to a cult that they were once a part of when they were younger.
During their visit, strange events start occurring that cannot be explained, and the mystery behind the cult becomes more confusing and dangerous. The film stars and is directed by both Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, who were also directors on VHS Viral (2014) and Spring (2014).
Benson and Moorhead do an amazing job both behind and in front of the camera. The Endless is more than just a creepy thriller, it’s well acted, well directed and well written.
There is a consistent presence of tension from the outset, a feeling of unease that can be felt through the screen. You want to tell the characters to get out, but the mystery of the story stops you from doing so, and that’s the strongest part of this film – the mystery. It’s so interesting it makes the audience more engaged with the film. You have to constantly question everything that is happening and pay attention because the film demands it from you as a viewer. There are so many threads to the film which are unusual and strange, and you have to piece it all together. You know something is wrong but you can’t figure out what, and you have no idea what, or who to fear.
The sinister presence is juxtaposed with a warm family environment. These conflicting tones make the film refreshingly original; you don’t get the traditional horror/thriller clichés so, there is a real element of unpredictability because the film feels somewhat original within its genre.
The chemistry between Benson and Moorhead is very convincing; not only can you tell that they have worked together in the past but you really buy that they are brothers. They give a nice balanced performance, mixed with comedy and drama that sells the relationship. The consistent tension isn’t broken up with jump scares, it’s done with jokes. Not only is this refreshing but it’s effective in making the film creepier and scarier because the tension never drops – it’s only paused. In a way this film has a lot of parallels with Get Out (2017), even though The Endless is nowhere near as good. The similarity comes from the tone of the film and I think it’s an entertaining and refreshing way to make a horror/thriller.
Yet again these two men have proved how talented they are with their idiosyncratic style that is refreshingly original. You can see how the film benefited from having the two-same people write, act and direct the movie. There were so many layers to the story and you can tell that the people that worked on it put a lot of time into every detail. Definitely go see The Endless if you are a horror or thriller fan and make sure to look out for both Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead in the future.
The filmmakers use the song House of the Rising Sun throughout because the lyrics are in public domain, which helped them stay within their limited budget.