The Endless – VIFF 2017 Review

By Shane Scott-Travis

the-endless-2017-mystery-horror-film

After firmly establishing themselves as impressive innovators in the low-budget but high-concept realm of mumblecore sci-fi/horror films with meta-movements and Lovecraftian leanings (2013’s Resolution and 2014’s Spring are must-see movies for genre junkies), the writer-director duo of Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson present their most ambitious and riskiest gambit yet with The Endless.

Earnestly but not without wit and warm temperament the filmmaking pair behind the lens also take the two lead roles for this unusual, and refreshingly unconventional trip through the twilight zone, as protective and skeptical older brother Justin (Benson) and younger, more unaffected Aaron (Moorhead) find themselves in a bit of a rut.

There’s a delicious irony that the two men find their present idle –– a professedly endless loop of shit jobs, junk food, and borderline bankruptcy –– plagued, particularly for Aaron, with a yearning to return once more to Arcadia. Jokingly but with a grain of truth referred to as “a UFO death cult” and one that, a decade prior and at Justin’s insistence, the pair barely escaped, the arrival of a videotape tempting the brothers to return one last time. Will they journey back to the ashram out in the arid desert? Do you even have to ask?

Part of what makes The Endless so compelling and relishable is the complex and relatable relationship that the siblings share, and though many of the film’s key themes (grasping and understanding something absolute, liberation and regulation) have been studied by these filmmakers previously, as has their love for Lovecraft (for now, Spring is still their finest film and best adulation to ol’ H.P.), this fast-moving, unnerving, often deliciously droll and dark adventure is a genuine trip.

“It has been said, that it is not death, but dying, which is terrible,” wrote English novelist Henry Fielding, known for his picaresque → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema