THE ENDLESS (2018) is another in a long string of indie horror movies that shows what can be done on a low budget if you tell an effective story.
Directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, written by Benson, and starring both as the lead characters, THE ENDLESS tells the story of two down-and-out brothers who return to a cult, which they escaped as children 10 years earlier, so they can gain closure. They arrive just in time to find there’s much more going on they didn’t understand as kids, and have to unravel the mystery of it before a coming mysterious event called the Ascension.
The film starts off a bit clunky, but once it finds its stride, it’s a lot of fun. The core conflict between the brothers–one has always been taking care of the other since their escape, and they remember their time with the cult differently–is genuine and provides a strong human interest story. Otherwise, there’s plenty of Lovecraftian mystery as it becomes clear the being the cult worships in its way might just be real and want something.
While THE ENDLESS is a low budget flick, it capitalizes immensely on mystery and fear of the unknown and delivers a good script, pacing, and acting, while marshaling its budget for a few elements that make them pop. There’s a terrific Easter egg tying the movie to the directors’ earlier film, RESOLUTION, which I thought was similarly great and recommend. I’d call THE ENDLESS more minimalist than low budget, though. It just focuses on a good story.