The Endless (2017)

From an very, very outside perspective, I can kind of see the appeal of a cult. The world is especially shitty right now, and in my mind I don’t see it getting significantly better any time soon. A little too dark to start this post? Well I just recently got out of COVID-19 quarantine and then went right back to the filthy world of retail. If someone were to come to me and say that following them would make everything better… well, okay, I wouldn’t believe them because that sounds culty as fuck, but I’d be a little bit tempted.

The Endless, from the same writer/directors as the amazing movie Spring (as well as the worst segment of the already awful V/H/S Viral, so you win some, you lose some), features two brothers trying to survive in the real world a decade after leaving a “UFO death cult,” wondering if things might have been better if they never left. Turns out everyone’s still there, so no mass suicide! Maybe it wasn’t so bad? What could hurt going back just for a day? Well, this is a horror movie, so a lot, actually.

I had some trouble coming up with the right tag for this movie. It’s not really a “time travel” film, even though there are time distortions that cause people to get stuck in loops (one unfortunate bastard apparently stuck in a 10 second loop). I was going to go with “reality is broken,” but until I can think of a more multi-purpose tag, the generic “sci-fi” will have to do. Because reality–specifically time–is at the whim of some kind of being beyond mortal comprehension. It sees us, it wants to control us, and this is starting to sound a bit like YellowBrickRoad with the commentary track explaining everything…

So the movie gets a bit weird. But I like weird when it’s done well, and I’d say this is on the good side of weird. The brothers make some really dumb decisions throughout the movie, but you get where they’re coming from. The younger brother doesn’t fully remember what the cult was like, so it makes sense that he wants to go back when his current life sucks. The older brother lied about how bad it was, but how else was he going to get his idealistic sibling to go with him? I didn’t hate either of them or want them to die, so I’m going to say that’s a sign of good writing and character development. The fact that the brothers are also the directors probably doesn’t hurt.


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