The Endless, a sci-fi/horror cross blend, starring and directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead, manages to make its supernatural loopiness credible by grounding it all in a recognizable sibling drama.
Brothers Justin and Aaron were raised in a UFO cult that they walked away from when Justin became convinced that the sect was planning on taking the koolaid. Years later, the two who live a subsistence life cleaning houses and eating ramen, receive a video, supposedly from the cult, that compels them back for a temporary return to find out what went right and where they may have gone wrong. For the cult-sick Aaron, tired of living on the edge of subsistence and with fond memories of the healthy vegan lifestyle and camaraderie that the group embraced, the news is a homecoming. For Justin it is a moral dilemma that he fears will destroy their relationship.
The wry screenplay features a circular, almost a UFO saucer like symmetry- that trickles down into everything from sound, sets, cinematography and the score which features a slow and echoing version of House of the Rising Sun. Everything gets blurred and repeated, disconnecting audience expectations from what really occurs– making it hard to distinguish reality from fantasy, and between what might be choice and what night be indoctrination.
Ultimately the brothers get themselves unstuck. They find their home, whether it be cult, zoo, prison or just in an unshakeable faith in each other.
The Endless is a satisfying cosmic trip.
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