Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead the co-directors and writers of The Endless play the lead roles in the small budget film where a doomsday cult intersects with a supernatural spirit. Justin and Aaron are brothers who escaped from Camp Arcadia that in Justin's mind was a U.F.O end of the world organization. Since their departure 10 years ago the pair have not faired well. They have no money to fix the battery on their car, work at cleaning houses and have little or no regular meals. Their current dining situation consists of sharing a bowl of ramen noodles. Aaron remembers regular meals at Camp Acadia and wants to return. As there prospects are low and this might serve to get the camp out of his system Justing agrees to go back for a visit.
The Camp is on the outskirts of the city and appears unassuming at first. The pair are welcomed back with smiles and hugs. Aaron immediately takes up with Anna (Callie a former crush that appears to now have a steady fella in Camp. But soon strange acts begin to occur the centre of which is a tug of war with an unknown entity juxtaposed to a mysterious elevated shed that no one is allowed to enter.
The story is about relationships between brothers, family and loss. Justin feels guilty that he pulled his brother out of the only situation he knows The narrative gives just enough details on the Camp to make the viewer unsure but balances the vagueness with enough story to hold the viewers attention and make the audience care about the two main characters.
The purpose of the Camp is at the centre of the film. Events unfold that appear to bend with the known rules of the world giving evidence that something different is going on in this corner of earth. Time, actions, life and death appear to run in a foggy loop raising questions as to what's real vs imagined.
The directors cast little known actors in the film. Despite this he cast all settle into comfortable spaces with their roles.
The Endless walks the balance between the elements of this world and the next. The ensemble cast does not put a foot wrong and are backed by a narrative that's simple and compelling.
*** 1/2 Out of 4.
The Endless | Justin Benson / Aaron Morehead | U.S.A. | 2017 | 100 Minutes.
Tags: Cult, Programmed, Leader, Video Equipment, Card Trick, Aliens, Karaoke, Ramen noodles.