Having heard many things about The Endless my anticipation for the sci-fi horror film was well above average but I am happy to say this mind bending movie mind not disappoint.
Best seen cold and fresh from any preconceptions I would advise everyone reading this to stop and go and watch the film now before I ruin anything but for those still here I will try to be as delicate in my description as possible.
Directed by Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson, who also wrote the script, the tremendously talented duo also star as brothers Aaron and Justin who grew up in a crazy UFO death cult and escaped before something terrible happened, or so they believed.
Living boring, isolated lives working dead end jobs the pair may be free from the cults clutches however they are unsatisfied and unhappy. When a video arrives in the post from a cult member named Anna (Alien Covenant and Blair Witch star Callie Hernandez) inviting them to an event called The Ascension Aaron asks his brother if they could visit their old friends at Camp Arcadia just for a day.
Wary and cynical Justin finally agrees and when they arrive they are welcomed with open arms by the friendly if a little odd faces they left behind. With Aaron only remembering positive things about his time in the cult Justin tries to keep reminding him of the horror he potentially saw ahead but as the brothers become more entwined in their old lives it seems like they may never leave again.
Soon though surreal sightings, bizarre events, warped rituals and sinister secrets start to mount up and the idyllic camp turns into a chaotic creepy prison that both siblings feel the need to escape from. The question is have they left it too late?
Immensely innovative the superb set up of the twosome traveling back to the cult they left so long ago instantly grabs the audience’s attention even before the wonderful weirdness and dread drenched atmosphere of fear appear both of which make the film even better.
The script races along throwing in enough comedic touches alongside the more heavyweight drama and head scratching sci-fi to not only adhere you to the leads but also give you some light relief amongst the more grand ideas and concepts the movie deals so well with.
Having only made a hand full of films between them before, including the well revived horror Spring and the Bonestorm section of V/H/S Viral, Moorhead and Benson do a great job directing such a genre jumping film creating an ethereal landscape on which the very realistic characters interact on like they are trapped in a terrible nightmare.
Although by the end of the movie some elements may seem familiar The Endless remains original and considering its low budget and lack of star power it proves that when it comes to horror and sci-fi indie movies can more than hold their own against Hollywood especially if you have such solid ideas and a ton of talent behind them.