By Dave B.
In The Endless (2018, currently on Netflix) a decade after two brothers, Aaron and Justin, escape from a UFO death cult they receive a mysterious video cassette with a goodbye message to them from one of the members. Their lives since leaving Camp Arcadia have been difficult and Aaron, the younger brother who barely remembers the cult, wants to visit its members one last time before they “ascend”. Older brother Justin is extremely reluctant to do so, as he is simply grateful to have escaped what he presumes to be the cult’s grisly fate. Eventually, Aaron convinces Justin that visiting for one night will do no harm and the siblings set off on a mind-bending journey that will test their brotherly bonds as well as their grip on reality.
There is a lot to like about The Endless. For starters, it’s unique. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, particularly how it plays with the idea of whether or not a UFO death cult’s beliefs are actually true. The performances are solid, the script is great, and the camerawork adds to the general creepiness factor of the plot and setting. From a technical perspective, The Endless is more than solid. Plus, the film does a great job of making the mystery at the center of the plot truly befuddling. There was no way in hell that I could stop watching The Endless until I learned what was going on.
On a deeper level, the movie is about the relationship between family members and the control that people have over their own lives. And in dealing with the issue of control over one’s life (and death), The Endless is existentially terrifying. What makes this an effective horror movie is that, despite the fantastical plot, not being in control of one’s life is something that everyone can relate to. While there have been plenty of movies to tackle that topic, The Endless does so in a new and refreshing way that will appeal to both science fiction and horror enthusiasts, as well as to more general audiences.
My sole complaint about The Endless is (ironically, considering the name of the film) its ending. No spoilers, but I feel that a different ending would have better suited the general tenor of the rest of the film. In this case however, that’s a minor quibble. Overall, The Endless is a well-directed, well-written, well-acted science fiction horror movie that will captivate viewers throughout its 111 minute runtime. I highly recommend it.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.