The Endless (2017 film)

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Promotional image for The Endless (2018 film)....

Summary

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.

A prequel also exists, Resolution (2012 film), and Spring (2014 film) may also take place in the same universe.

Details

  • Release Date: 2018
  • Country/Language: English
  • Genres/Technical: Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery
  • Setting: Modern California
  • Runtime: 1 hr 51 min
  • Starring: Callie Hernandez, Justin Benson, Emily Montague
  • Director: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
  • Writer: Justin Benson
  • Producer/Production Co: Justin Benson, Snowfort Pictures, Pfaff & Pfaff Productions, Love & Death Productions (LDP)
  • View Trailer: (link)
  • TV Tropes Page: (link)
  • IMDB Page: (link)

Ratings

MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: (not rated) (some adult content, language, etc.)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • SS___ (Two Tentacles: Barely Lovecraftian; vaguely similar in tone.)

The film portrays a world where mysterious forces capable of altering time and space toy with a collection of victims, including a bizarre UFO cult. Though not obvious at first, this is a sequel to Resolution (2012 film), or at least a film set in the same fictional universe; like the previous film, They Remain on one level is about the mysterious experiences of two characters isolated in a strange landscape full of eccentric characters and ominous events, but on a more important level is a sensitive character sketch against a backdrop of the ups and downs of a difficult friendship troubled by a long-running unresolved conflict between the main characters.

The film begins with an epigraph by H.P. Lovecraft (his famous quote about the oldest and strongest emotion, fear of the unknown), and one of the cultist characters name-drops Lovecraft in a snippet of background conversation, referring to something that C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, and H.P. Lovecraft all wrote about, but Lovecraft "perverted"....

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.

Reviews

Review Links:

  • Review by Donald Clarke at The Irish Times (4/5 Stars) (link) - "...The Endless scatters clues that will come fully together only after several viewings. Yet the film is never frustrating. Its ability to finesse and misdirect set it in a category all by itself."
  • Review by Jodie McNeilly-Renaudie at FilmExploitation (link) - "It is not fear in the usual horror sense that Benson and Morehead attempt to induce, but is paradoxically the fear of fear alone. The film from beginning to the end not only fascinates with its harmonious storyline, filmic quality and strong performances, it expertly creates in us an experience of unease. We are not scared of It, nor the probability of seeing death or mutilation, but the fear ... is our coming to understand the possibility that we are never really free. Freedom as an illusion and the true horror of reality.
  • Review by Richard Scheib at The Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review (3.5/5 Stars) (link) - " On the other hand, it is also a film that leaves even more questions about what is going on in either film than it goes any way towards answering them. If anything, what we have here is more akin to "YellowBrickRoad (2010)"... What makes the film work is its uncanniness."
  • Review by Ian Sedensky at Culture Crypt (80/100) (link) - "The pair’s M.O. of creating characters who feel like longtime friends from next door and then thrusting them into cerebrally confounding supernatural situations speaks specifically to my interests in Lovecraftian fiction, challenging belief systems, and high concept horror impossibly anchored to some semblance of reality."
  • Review by Matt Zoller Seitz at RogerEbert.com (3.5/4 Stars) (link) - "...this is a movie that plays with our perceptions of time, space, and reality, and sketches the outlines of unimaginable terror while leaving the details to our imagination."

Synopsis (SPOILERS)

Notes

Comments, Trivia, Dedication

Associated Mythos Elements


Keeper Notes

  • There's not much to work with here for a traditional Call of Cthulhu scenario plot or background: just a couple guys revealing and developing their character while a whole lot of weird, eerie things happen around them, like broken CoC plot hooks that never quite catch the characters (or like the direct opposite of an actual Lovecraft story where the characters are complete ciphers, driven entirely on the winds of the Lovecraftian plot elements that appear, in this story the Lovecraftian elements huff and puff but never really seem to make it very far past character interaction and development); there might be a lesson to be learned in there somewhere about how things can go right in a CoC scenario even when the investigators never take any of the Lovecraftian bait, so long as strong motivations and good role-playing drive character interaction forward with minimal Keeper interruption; there might also be something to be said here for keeping the "Mythos" elements subtle and in the background, while encouraging the main conflicts of the story to play out between player-characters, though this will require some skillful role-players to carry a lot of the scenario's weight.