By David Dent
Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s follow up to their excellent 2014 romance-with-tentacles movie Spring is a real melon twister.
Benson and Moorhead both star (casting themselves using their own first names) as brothers, who ten years previously had escaped from a cult who had adopted them since infancy, following their rescue from a car crash near the commune, which killed their mother.
But returning to normal life has clearly been difficult. When we first meet them, Justin and Aaron are both stuck in menial cleaning jobs, living a real second gear existence. But a strange package delivered to their home, containing an old video tape featuring one of the cult seeming to address them personally, sets off a desire – by Aaron at least – to return to the commune.
Grudgingly Justin agrees to accompany him. When the brothers arrive at the so called ‘Camp Arcadia’ they find the cult members seemingly unaged since they last saw them, but also preparing for an ‘Ascension’ which presumably will find the cult members reborn.
As usual to tell more of the plot would be to spoil the fun, suffice it to say that we’re in Triangle, Time Crimes and Primer territory here.
And while all those films are great in their own ways, what makes The Endless such a good film is the balance of ‘oh wow’ moments with a rich vein of dry humour which not only adds to the suspension of disbelief needed to accept the movie’s plot, but makes Benson (who wrote the script) and Moorhead (also Director of Photography on the flick) a really enjoyable duo to spend time with.
Other supporting characters are also well-defined, particularly the inscrutable cult leader Hal (Tate Ellington) and a fine turn from James Jordan as the brilliantly named and creatively angry Shitty Carl. The Endless builds quietly and tells its story with some care; the ending packs such a punch because the preceding hour and a half has been structured so well.
One of my favourite films of the year so far. See it.