6.9/10
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The Endless (2017)

Two brothers return to the cult they fled from years ago to discover that the group's beliefs may be more sane than they once thought

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Anna
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Hal
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Tim
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Shitty Carl
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Jennifer Danube
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Justin Smith
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Early 1900s Man
Aaron Moorhead ...
Aaron Smith
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Michael Danube
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Chris Daniels
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Shane Williams
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Smiling Dave
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Lizzy
Glen Roberts ...
Woods
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Two brothers return to the cult they fled from years ago to discover that the group's beliefs may be more sane than they once thought

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21 April 2017 (USA)  »

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$1,000,000 (estimated)
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Characters from this film appeared in a cameo in the feature film "Resolution". See more »

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User Reviews

 
A must-see for fans of the warping of time and space
18 October 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Two grown brothers, who escaped a cult when they were kids, receive a video from same cult, enticing them to return. The older Justin (Justin Benson) has vivid and terrible memories of their time with the group, but younger Aaron (Aaron Moorhead)has just hazy memories of pleasant times. So, despite Justin's wishes, the two do in fact return to the compound they left a decade earlier. But why are they being summoned back? Are their lives (again) in danger? Or has the cult changed into just being another Northern California commune? When the brothers arrive in the middle of nowhere, they find the de facto leader Hal (Tate Ellington), who explains that the group has prospered in the years since Aaron and Justin left. Their primary source of income? Homemade beer. Very hipster. The members of the small commune/cult each have their own special skill, whether it's painting, knitting, magic tricks. The list is pretty finite, actually.

But it isn't too long before things get a little unsettling. No spoilers here; the cult believes there is an all-powerful deity who exists only for them – i.e., not a God from any other religion. This entity sends the group messages via cassette tapes and Polaroid photos. The group members pass this all off as normal; to be truthful, I found their happiness to be a bit unsettling. But Aaron, the younger/more impressionable of the brothers, wants to believe and is definitely looking for some structure in his life after a decade of menial jobs and no real direction. His wiser brother Justin, is strongly skeptical, but certain events do make him question his own sense of righteousness.

So this seems like a pretty straightforward story, doesn't it? Maybe there's something to the cult's thinking, maybe they're really just harmlessly living off the grid. But then a few somethings happen, and the movie switches from being about a crazed cult into being about, well, the neverending loop of reality. And that's when the movie really takes off. I'm talking about mindbending twists and some terrific special effects. Just like that, the plot zooms from just sort of floating about, intriguing but not enticing, and then it blasts into overdrive. And suddenly nothing makes sense, and everything makes sense. It's a huge trip.

For that reason, I really enjoyed this movie, the third I saw at this year's Spooky Movie International Film Festival in Silver Spring, Maryland. The Endless was written by Benson and directed by Benson and Moorhead, and they score with all aspects of their work here. If you're looking for a distorted-reality movie, check out The Endless.


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