THE ENDLESS • 2018 • Directed by Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead • USA • Horror/Thriller/Sci-Fi
RT: 97% MetaCritic: 80
IN A SENTENCE: This taut, venturesome blend of chilling mystery and creeping horror is a testament to the power of creativity in the face of a thin wallet.
REVIEW: Although I didn’t miss the buzz surrounding duo Benson & Moorehead’s last release, Spring (2014), I never did get around to a viewing. And THE ENDLESS, I now understand, is a kind of soft sequel to their debut feature, Resolution (2012), also a buzz-creator. I’m glad to finally be a member of the club, because if THE ENDLESS is any reliable indicator of Benson & Moorehead’s potential, we should be following their career with savage loyalty. Here, the duo also stars as brothers now living in mass society after leaving a strange cult several years prior. When a bizarre video message prompts them to temporarily return, it becomes achingly clear that their feelings toward the movement are as complex and shifting as the bonkers mystery in which they are embroiled. Watching THE ENDLESS, I was immediately reminded of Shane Carruth’s Primer (2004), a low-budget indie brimming over with ambition and intellect. But where Primer failed to bring a cohesive coda to its antics, THE ENDLESS manages this with spectacular resonance. In turns highly disturbing, meticulously creepy, and wryly funny, this is nothing less than a beautifully written and deftly related thriller that embraces its low-budget trappings and shoots for the stars. As the credits rolled, I couldn’t help but compare it to a recent blockbuster with similar thematic DNA. How is it that Annihilation (2018) provided half the bang for a thousand times the bucks?
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