Wednesday, April 25, 2018

'The Endless,' a tricky little movie

Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead join forces to direct and star in The Endless, a film that takes enough unexpected turns to provoke interest. Justin and Aaron — characters obviously named after their creators -- are brothers who fled a California commune a decade before the movie begins. Justin saw the commune as a cult — and a death cult at that. After the brothers learn that the members of the commune are still alive, younger brother Aaron begins to have fond recollections of the place. The food was good. People had fun. As Aaron remembers it, life on the commune seems better than the crummy lives the brothers now lead, scuffling for money in low-level jobs. Justin doesn’t buy it. He says appropriately named Arcadia was "culty," that all the adult males underwent castration and that no one living at the commune really was free. Nonetheless, a persistent Aaron insists that the brothers pay a one-day visit to their former home to gain closure. As the movie progresses, the strangeness grows ever stranger. Although the cult members seem friendly and reasonable, the sky above Arcadia sometimes glows with double moons -- and that's far from the weirdest development. No fair telling you where all this is headed, but Benson and Moorhead create an eerie little movie that effectively plays with time and mortality — and with our heads.

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