The initial hook and opening act of The Endless is fantastic. You are sucked into this mystery surrounding two cult escapees who have a fuzzy memory of what they had previously experienced and are not sure their lives have improved since leaving. A mysterious parcel spurs the central characters into action and they decide to return.
What then follows is a movie which keeps you hooked but always off-set. You are never quite certain what is happening but you are never lost. The actions of the characters within the cult are strange without being too bizarre that you are left dumbfounded. There are also lots of slightly strange questions that tease answers, for example why is one man constantly running and how is everyone the so young?
The Endless also manages that very rare of plot devices in that the answer to these questions and the central mystery is very satisfying. Once the brothers have figured out what the mystery is at the heart of this movie then everything begins to click into place. I won’t spoilt it here but it is inventive and then opens up a range of possibilities and sub-plots, some of which are explored very well.
Unfortunately, like many movies with a solid mystery at their core, once the mystery has been uncovered, the movie loses what made it so compelling. The strange and bizarre that left the audience on edge is now all too normal once you understand why these events are occurring and you can’t help but start to lose interest.
This is particularly difficult when the movie doesn’t use this very clever, very inventive plot device to it’s full potential. Difficult to explain without spoiling the film but there are so many unexplored avenues and plots that could have been used but instead what is left is an average third act which under-cuts the great first two-thirds of the movie.
Overall, The Endless is a twisted, visually and creatively inventive movie that holds you attention through a very well-crafted mystery. Even the solution to the mystery manages to be satisfying but what happens after the revelation is less than impressive compared to the great work that goes before.
Rating – 4
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