Endless, The (Tribeca 2017) - Dread Central
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Endless, The (Tribeca 2017)

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Starring Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Callie Hernandez, Tate Ellington, Lew Temple, James Jordan

Directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead


Within the horror genre, there are directors whose names immediately give a film a certain importance. Romero, Craven, Barker, Carpenter, etc… These directors release films that speak to our community, that understand not only what we’re looking for but also how to evolve our expectations, to challenge our preconceived notions, and to give us something truly special.

Enter Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, the duo who brought us 2012’s Resolution and 2014’s Spring, both fantastic independent features that knew exactly how to take a “less is more” approach that still satisfied viewers. The latter was heavily praised by Guillermo del Toro, who stated, “…Spring is one of the best horror films of this decade. And the only Lovecraftian film that has blown me away.” Personally, I find myself agreeing with del Toro’s first statement. It’s a stunning piece of work that proves horror doesn’t have to be about death, violence, and/or mayhem. Rather, it can simply be about a situation and what people will do when placed therein. But I digress. Let us delve into The Endless, a film that continues Benson and Moorhead’s insistence that viewers should be challenged.

The plot of the film is rather basic. Justin and Aaron (played by the co-directors who chose to keep their names) are brothers who, 10 years ago, escaped from what Justin explains was a dangerous cult. In the time since they left, Aaron hasn’t really improved and Justin is getting tired of having to take care of his brother. One day, after receiving a tape from the cult, Aaron convinces Justin that they should go back, just for a day, to see if that will help him move on. However, as they make their way towards the compound, Justin notices some strange phenomena, such as circles of birds suddenly shifting from one place in the sky to another, that he can’t explain. Rather than point this out to Aaron, he instead elects to shrug it off as some odd natural occurrence.

Once Aaron and Justin enter the compound, a place known as Camp Arcadia, they are welcomed with embraces, offered comforting food and home-brewed Hefeweizen, and are invited to partake in all events with the rest of the people. While it’s hard to see how these people were as awful as Justin seemingly described them to be, there is still a tense air hovering throughout. Then, as the brothers stay longer, unexplainable things begin to happen, such as Justin seeing two moons in the night sky or Aaron seeing a mysterious watery reflection cut vertically across the horizon. With each passing moment, things become stranger and stranger until Justin snaps and tries to get Aaron to escape with him.

Now, I won’t go into any further detail because there are surprises in store for those who have seen Benson and Moorhead’s earlier films. What I will say is that the final product is a masterful offering of unearthly visuals, intense time travel theories, and clever suggestions of creatures too vast and strange to comprehend. It makes wonderful use of sound design and gives the audience precisely what they need and nothing more. Simply put, it’s absolutely magnificent.

What delighted me most about this film is that it doesn’t hold the viewer’s hand. Rather, it allows you to join Justin and Aaron on this journey but doesn’t wait for you to find comfort before pressing on. If these two aren’t on steady ground, why should you be? The film opens with the H.P. Lovecraft quote, “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown,” something they obviously took to heart. Therefore, if you’re hoping that the clip that shows the duo in a lake with a gigantic beast beneath their boat is a sign of things to come, prepare to be disappointed. However, just remember that quote and realize that whatever your own imagination can concoct will always be far more terrifying than any CGI creation.

The moment The Endless was over, I found myself desperately wanting to revisit Benson and Moorhead’s previous films so I could watch this film again, which is probably the highest praise I can give it. It’s deeply unsettling, fantastically eerie, and a phantasmagoria of surreal mystery.

  • The Endless
4.5

Summary

Remember earlier when I mentioned several directors who have evolved the horror genre? I think it’s time we add Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead to that list.

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Exclusive: Terror Universal Dare You to Look Through the Mirrors

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Alright horror metalheads, it’s time to raise those devil horns and get ready for some Terror Universal! On hand we’ve got the exclusive video premiere for the track “Through the Mirrors”, which comes from the band’s album Make Them Bleed. Directed by Wacy Jahn, the video mixes band performance with the hallucinations and troubles of a man who clearly has some issues going on.

Jahn tells us about making the video, saying, “As a director, I was given the freedom to give my visual interpretation of what the song meant to me personally. The inner self that tortures the outer self into being something different no matter the cost. Now mix a twist of insanity into the recipe and you get the “Through the Mirrors” official Terror Universal music video.

Band member Massacre adds, “I am very pumped to be releasing the “Through The Mirrors” video, as this track is one of my favorite songs on our new album ‘Make Them Bleed’. This song showcases many of Terror Universal’s diverse sounds, as it’s brutally heavy, and also has a very anthemic and memorable chorus.

Made up of current and past members of Machine Head, Ill Niño, Soulfly, and Upon A Burning Body, Terror Universal is a metal band dedicated to combining their love of all things heavy with their passion for horror. Make Them Bleed also features guest appearances from bassists John Moyer (Disturbed) and Tony Campos (Static-X).

You can buy Make Them Bleed on Bandcamp.

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The Sinking City Update Dives Into the Cthulhu Mythos That Drives the Game

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If you’ve been following our coverage of Frogwares’ The Sinking City, you’ll know that it’s probably my most anticipated game not just of the year but of a long, long time! An open world game that lives in the aesthetic and atmosphere of H.P. Lovecraft? Consider me 100% hooked! This game ticks all the boxes of my love of horror and my love of gaming.

A new update video has been released and this one goes right into the ways that H.P. Lovecraft and his works directly influenced the game, the developers and the story players will experience. On top of that, it also goes into how Lovecraft’s themes inspired the creators at Frogwares to forge their own paths and create their own mythology and terror. It’s a wonderful video because we get to see these people take an established universe and build upon it with reverence, respect, and passion.

Seriously, if The Sinking City isn’t on your radar, you’re going to be missing out when it’s released.

Synopsis:
The Sinking City interprets and develops the themes that Lovecraft explored: the fear of monsters and the unknown, the search for occult truths and madness. In the game, players step into the shoes of a private detective investigating the disappearance of an expedition to the imaginary town of Oakmont, Massachusetts. Oakmont is a city experiencing unprecedented flooding due to supernatural forces, leaving a large portion of the city submerged. Secret societies, dangers, intrigues and monstrous creatures will stand in your way…

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Meet Ash’s Moody Teenage Daughter in New Ash vs Evil Dead S3 Trailer

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“Mom, what’s a chainsaw geek doing here?”

Marketing for the return of Starz’s Ash vs Evil Dead has really been gearing up as it was just the other day that we shared a new trailer called, you know, “Gotta Gear Up.”

That trailer was quick but cool, and today we have a new quick-n-cool “Ash vs Evil Dead” trailer, this time highlighting Ash’s daughter.

The inclusion of Ash’s daughter into the splatter this new season has me excited as hell for the premiere in a few weeks. But now I just have Pearl Jam stuck in my head.

Check out the new trailer below and then let us know what you think!

The third season stars Bruce Campbell, Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo, Lucy Lawless and Arielle Carver-O’Neill. Campbell executive produces the series with Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, Ivan Raimi, and Rick Jacobson. Season 3 has new showrunners: Mark Verheiden and producer Moira Grant.

“Ash vs Evil Dead” season three begins Sunday, February 25.

S3 synopsis:

The third season finds Ash’s status in Elk Grove, Michigan has changed from murderous urban legend to humanity-saving hometown hero. When Kelly witnesses a televised massacre with Ruby’s fingerprints all over it, she returns with a new friend to warn Ash and Pablo that evil isn’t done with them yet. Blood is thicker than water in the battle of good vs Evil Dead!

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