the endless | justin benson | aaron moorhead | callie hernandez | emily montague | tate ellington | james jordan | cult | sci-fi | sci fi | thriller | lew temple | kira powell | vinny curran | peter cilella | ric sarabia | david lawson jr. | shane brady | united states
Film: The Endless
Director: Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead
Writer: Justin Benson
Starring: Callie Hernandez, James Jordan and Emily Montague
This is an interesting film about two brothers that return to the cult they fled from years ago to discover that the group’s beliefs may be saner than they once thought.
The story itself was something that really intrigued me when I saw trailers for it. We have two brothers, Justin and Aaron Smith. They are portrayed by the Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. They also co-directed with Benson also the writer of the film. They flee from the cult and are living mundane lives in the real world. We actually get to see news footage of them after they made it out. The problem though is that Aaron doesn’t remember all of the bad things that Justin tells him happened, he wants to go back.
What really sets it off is that a package comes with a video of Anna (Callie Hernandez). Aaron kind of remembers her and wants to visit to see what it was like. It does take some convincing, but Justin agrees. It is on their trip back when they stop at a memorial that we learn the two brothers are orphans. Their mother died in a car accident and they were brought to the commune by Hal (Tate Ellington).
They live healthy lives and we learn that the people living there are much older than we realize. Hal tries to state that it is due to the healthy lifestyles they live, but it could be something more to it. There also is something much darker that is surrounding all of this and much scarier than they realize.
I do have to say, I loved the concept that is revealed about what is up with this cult. The film starts with a quote from H.P. Lovecraft so definitely keep that in mind when watching this film. Time is also something that is brought up and I’m a sucker for films with that concept. It is something that I both cannot wrap my head around and am draw to films that involve it. I did have some issues with the third act of this film and the ending. I just feel this film bit off more than it could chew and there were just some issues for me.
The acting though is great. We get to see the effects of living in a group like this can have on people. Justin and Aaron share stories how they don’t fit into society. They are having trouble connecting with people because of their isolation. When they return though, Aaron thrives. The people are much nicer and it is more tight-nit. Now Justin knows there isn’t something right and he is suspicious which is good. Something else interesting though is a character named Lizzy (Kira Powell). I bring her up because she is a recovering addict and a person like her does well in the structure of a community like this. I do think the acting for this film is really good.
Something that was also really good was the effects. There aren’t a lot of them and the ones that are used are done practically for the most part. A lot of them I believe are just done with camera angles and using cuts to make it look like someone is not there. There are some that are done with CGI, but not a lot. The ending has some of this and I believe many of the scenes with birds as well.
The sound design of the film I was also a fan of. The score really helps to set the tone that the film is going for. There are some scenes that have a grand score to help the stage as well as having other scenes with a more subdued sound to help to build the tension. I thought the score does well for what they needed it to.
Now with that said, this film I found to be good just missed the mark on a few things to be great. I love the concept of the film. Two guys escaping from a cult only to go back when their lives aren’t working as they hoped. I love the background idea of what is causing of it as well as the concepts of time. I do feel that they ran out of steam during the third act and it loses itself a bit. The acting though was really good as well as the effects of the film. I thought the sound design was well done. This isn’t going to be horror film for everyone, but if this sounds interesting give it a viewing. I am curious to see what others think about this film. I found it to be worth a watch.
My Rating: 8 out of 10