Director(s): Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
Cast: Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson, Callie Hernandez
Release Date: June 26, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Following their Lovecraftian modern cult classic Spring, acclaimed filmmakers Moorhead and Benson return with this mind-bending thriller that follows two brothers who receive a cryptic video message inspiring them to revisit the UFO death cult they escaped a decade earlier. Hoping to find the closure that they couldn’t as young men, they’re forced to reconsider the cult’s beliefs when confronted with unexplainable phenomena surrounding the camp. As the members prepare for the coming of a mysterious event, the brothers race to unravel the seemingly impossible truth before their lives become permanently entangled with the cult.
The talented filmmaking duo of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Resolution, Spring) return with their third feature film ‘The Endless’. A mysterious tale of brothers Justin and Aaron (portrayed by directors Benson and Moorhead respectively) who years after leaving what they considered to be a UFO death cult hesitantly return to their prior home after receiving a cryptic video implying a mass suicide may be in the foreseeable future of the members. Determined to see their old family one last time and at least attempt to say their goodbyes, Justin and Aaron quickly find themselves unable to resist investigating the reality of the strange presence that seems to surround their old home, but as the truth slowly becomes unveiled the reality begins to prove even more mysterious.
Directed by the filmmaking duo of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Resolution, Spring) from a screenplay which was also written by Justin Benson, the two do a magnificent job at the helm of ‘The Endless’ beautifully guiding this curious tale around each and every turn with obvious passion. The film also owes its share of credit to many lesser known, yet wholly capable individuals that comprise the cast including directors Benson and Moorhead who in addition to their various other duties behind the scenes also portray the lead brothers (and each with their own first name) along with Callie Hernandez (Blair Witch), Lew Temple (The Devil’s Rejects), James Jordan (Wind River), Tate Ellington (Sinister 2) and more who nearly all deliver solid performances in each of their respective roles.
‘The Endless’ is simply phenomenal; a mind-twisting thriller with plenty of sci-fi and fantasy elements sprinkled throughout and an abundance of heart in its own right. Utilizing an increasingly eerie and unsettling atmosphere that slowly evolves into something truly remarkable that is almost guaranteed to keep you thinking long after the credits roll. Easily one of my favorite films of the year so far, ‘The Endless’ is nothing short of spectacular and a truly unique experience that fellow genre fans won’t want to even consider missing out on. While it’s by no means necessary to be familiar with the duo’s previous efforts, fellow fans of Benson and Moorhead’s career and their prior two films will almost surely have even more fun with this one and be capable of fully appreciating the overall scope at hand. I can’t possibly urge fans of their work strongly enough to make a point of checking this one out as soon as you have the opportunity do so, and anyone that tends to appreciate a well-constructed slow-burn thriller that will keep you thinking until the end will also want to try and give ‘The Endless’ a shot whenever possible. It’s a magnificent film all around and the most impressive offering yet from the remarkable duo of Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson who only continue to impress.
Overall, ‘The Endless’ is a beautiful, expertly crafted piece of mind bending filmmaking. Without a doubt one of the finest films I’ve had the pleasure of so far this year and almost surely the most impressive entry yet in the already noteworthy career of talented filmmakers Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson who only continue to amaze with each subsequent outing, as well as proving even more of a treat to fans of their previous films. ‘The Endless’ is definitely highly recommended, particularly to fellow fans of Moorhead and Benson’s previous work, along with anyone who enjoys a smaller, thought provoking film that never quite takes you where you might expect. For anyone with any interest whatsoever in ‘The Endless’ to begin with it should at the very least be well worth coughing up the funds for the cost of a rental.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Endless’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks great and does an excellent job of representing what one can only assume is the intended appearance of the film. It’s clean and sharp, yet colors often appear exceptionally dull or almost worn, yet never in a way that appears to be a fault of the video presentation itself, clearly something intended by the filmmakers. It holds up impressively even during the numerous notably dark sequences, always making certain that everything occurring on screen never becomes negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a top notch high definition video presentation from Well Go USA that should have no trouble satisfying fellow fans of the film.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack delivers a crisp, clean and occasionally quite active audio presentation throughout. While never getting overly aggressive (especially in the surround department) it still embraces all five available channels in order to send the wonderful score along with plenty of nature effects, bits of crowd chatter and other useful effects throughout the various speakers when fitting, and always making sure that any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously remain clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers in every way required of it and makes a welcome compliment to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Endless’ includes a pretty solid collection of supplemental material that fans of the filmmakers and/or of this film in particular should appreciate. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead and Producer David Lawson Jr.’, in addition to the Behind the Scenes Featurette ‘Making The Endless’ (running approximately 32 minutes in length) which includes interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. We’re also treated to a number of ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 7 minutes altogether), a ‘VFX Breakdown’ (approximately 3 minutes) and 2 ‘Behind the Scenes’ Segments: ‘Michael Felker, The Editor’ (3 minutes) and ‘Outtakes’ (10 minutes). Also included on the release are some “Ridiculous Extras” which offer some goofy fun, they include: “Casting Smiling Dave” (3 minutes), “Casting Aaron” (2 minutes), ‘Vinny’s Story’ (9 minutes), ‘Breaking The News’ (3 minutes) and ‘UFO Cult Comedy’ (3 minutes). The ‘Tribeca Promo’ (approximately 1 minute), ‘Teaser Trailer’ (2 minutes) and the full ‘Trailer’ (2 minutes) for the movie are also included.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 9.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead’s ‘The Endless’ is Now Available to Own on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Well Go USA Entertainment