Siblings can be a funny thing. Growing up as youngsters together you can experience a myriad of emotions with your brothers and/or sisters. Everything from wanting to punch them in the arm (or somewhere more hurtful) to giving them the biggest hug imaginable and no love is lost. But other times, love can be lost. The movie I’m briefly looking at today chronicles a sibling relationship that has had its fair share of ups and downs. So as always, let’s pop some popped corn, crack open a large adult beverage and dim the lights.
The Endless (2017)
Two brothers, Aaron (Aaron Moorhead) and Justin (Justin Benson) live a downtrodden life together in a dingy old apartment, making ends meet as commercial apartment cleaners. We soon discover though, that 10 years previously, the two escaped a what could only best be described as a UFO death cult. Yearning for any direction in life, Aaron talks Justin into going back to the cult for a short visit, for closure. What was only supposed to be a night long visit turned into an experience the two brothers will never forget. Will the cult suck the two back into its fold? Are they even a cult at all? Or is there something darker and more sinister amiss?
“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
As the brothers arrive at Camp Arcadia where the cult is located, things seem pretty normal, at first. The leader, Hal (Tate Ellington) welcomed the two back with uncertain yet open arms. But things soon began to feel out of place. Odd things started to occur. Camp members giving uncomfortable glances, hesitant smiles. Bizarre sounds and noises soon start to accompany Justin and Aaron wherever they go, almost beckoning them not to leave again.
The Endless is the third full-length feature film from directing duo Moorhead and Benson. This is the teams’ first film since their critically acclaimed and hypnotically horrific love story Spring (2014). Taking on the roles of the two main characters as well as directing, writing (Benson), cinematography (Moorhead) and producing these guys really had their plates full. This film felt like a labor of love and it shows. This is by far their best work to date.
Without going into much spoilery, The Endless has so many underlying themes. Where you can’t take it all in, in just one viewing. Everything from a chilling unknown supernatural force of nature, to a thought-provoking existential allegory of what it means to be human and trying to relate to others in a community or family. But the biggest theme I came away with, was the evolution of the brothers’ relationship. A brotherly love that can progress despite any obstacles thrown at them. It was truly heartwarming. The film is subtle, yet completely terrifying. I know I have said this before boils and ghouls and it is also true here, but this flick will linger in your thoughts long after the credits have ended. Had this film been released in 2018, it would undoubtedly be my favorite film of the year to date.
Thanks for reading and remember…