Guest blog by Robert Barlow
That’s the term – for better or worse – that has been associated with the films and shorts directed by the duo of Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson ever since their first feature film, Resolution, had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2012.
The Endless is their third feature. It’s a challenging film – and that’s a good thing.
Like Resolution, and their second feature Spring, The Endless demands the viewer’s attention from start to finish as two brothers, played by Moorhead and Benson, return to a cult-like group they fled from 10 years earlier.
Their return is prompted after they receive a videotape from the group discussing the upcoming “ascension.” Hoping to find the closure that they couldn’t as young men, the brothers are forced to reconsider their beliefs when confronted with unexplainable phenomena surrounding the group.
The script, written by Benson, presents a mystery to both the viewer and the two brothers, and allows the time and space to discover the secrets hidden within the film as the brothers try to figure out if the group is a UFO death cult – or something else. The result is that The Endless is filled with an underlying dread and tension as the mystery unfolds.
Who sent the video to the brothers? Why do the members of the group appear to have aged very little in the last 10 years? What is behind the mysterious reflection that makes it look like there is more than one moon in the night sky?
These are just some of the secrets hidden within The Endless.
One of the more surprising secrets is that the film directly ties into the universe created by Resolution and indirectly with Spring – thus making The Endless the third chapter in somewhat of an unofficial trilogy.
While not required viewing, some events of The Endless will make more sense if you have seen Resolution – which is currently available on streaming services like Amazon.
All in all, The Endless is an evolution in all aspects of filmmaking for Moorhead and Benson. Everything from the cinematography and the score, to the dialogue and the special effects, show a growing confidence which is evident in the making of the film. Throughout their filmography, Moorhead and Benson have been able to express their ideas with little to no interference from outside forces – and The Endless is no different.
From the very first scene, the viewer quickly understands that what is on the screen is exactly what the duo wants you to experience – nothing more, nothing less.
Robert Barlow is a self-professed movie geek and has attended the Toronto International Film Festival for more than 15 years. He has a Master’s Degree in Public Relations and has worked as a journalist and a Public Relations professional for more than 10 years.