On an Indian reservation, there is a community of cultists whose members are trapped in time loops and constantly experiencing the same stretch of life. They do not become old, but they regularly die, either of their own free will or the will of Infinity, which “resets” local time. Later, we learn that not only sectarians who call the unknown entity a god are locked in the chrono-traps, but also many of the reservation’s involuntary inhabitants. In addition, the same force is constantly luring new victims into its territory. There is, however, a slim chance of escape if you leave the cult’s camp before the three moons rise and do not die on its territory. But it’s important to understand that the entity will try to interfere in any way it can. And it has a wide range of tools.
Are we shown other planets or worlds?
Theoretically, the events take place either on an Indian reservation in the south of the United States or near its borders (in “Resolution,” they talk about it directly, in “The Endless,” they show giant tribal totems). But in fact, teleportation to another planet or another world can occur during the arrival of the camp: we are repeatedly shown that the cult territory is full of places of transition from one timeline to another, and the presence of three moons and the violation of the laws of physics hint at the fact that the brothers are long gone from Earth. For Moorhead and Benson’s dialog, though, the much more important question is, “When does everything happen?” It is not sure that we perceive what is shown correctly because of the vast number of chronological paradoxes that intertwine with each other in the most bizarre ways. Just as we don’t know whether the timeline was earlier, “Resolution” or “The Endless.”
What does the ending of the movie mean?
Do you know how “The Endless” actually ended? With a bold comma. Yes, we are shown that the brothers Justin and Aaron managed not only to escape from the cult but also to leave the camp before the time loops “reset” with a truly apocalyptic sweep after the appearance of the three moons. But the last shot hints that the influence of Infinity that very unknown and invisible force, extends far beyond the boundaries shown. Even after the protagonists have breached the barrier and escaped, a flock of birds looms ahead, heralding the arrival of a mysterious entity (which some characters in the film believe is a real god).
The phrase about the “flashing light” is also alarming: the characters may have gotten into a super-short time loop and are now constantly running out of gas, but the car keeps going. But this is pure speculation.
It is also possible to assume that Aaron and Justin broke out of the “cordon” only because It allowed: perhaps Infinity is studying the behavior of the subjects in their everyday environment – in society. But, at the same time, it influences their behavior. The younger brother repeatedly talks about how the older brother is constantly messing things up-often as if against his will, spontaneously and inexplicably. Plenty of people tell the older brother, in plain language, that It loves to get into people’s minds and impose strange thoughts and desires on them. What if the brothers have been under the influence of the same entity all ten years on the outside, even in the big world, outside the camp, and without any resetting? What if their time path stretched for ten years? If this is true, then Its influence is truly limitless and stretches across the entire planet. It just has a “sandbox” on the reservation and a playground for individual creative experiments.
Its “ubiquity” is indicated by the volcanic rock pillars the characters encounter far beyond the boundaries of the cultists’ camp and by the fact that an unknown force planted a videotape with a message to his younger brother, just like it sent the tape and the map to Michael in “Resolution.” We are often told that this is how the Divine Infinity communicates with its “favorite” subjects. Besides, we see that the makeshift monument by the roadside is timeless: the flowers don’t wilt, and in the past ten years, neither rain nor sun has spoiled the painting.
By the way, in the second half of “Resolution,” Michael suggests that he and his friend have run into someone or something, constantly planting clues and waiting to see where the story comes to. That is, the unknown entity is someone like a director making a movie for itself. Infinity’s love of video footage and photographs points to this. And if these words in “Resolution” could be interpreted as an attempt to break the fourth wall and blame the misfortunes of the characters on the audience who love to watch other people’s suffering, in “The Endless,” such an interpretation takes on a much deeper (and creepier) meaning.
The original title, “The Endless,” is a direct indication that the story has many different interpretations. Therefore, the above should be taken as one of the many attempts to do so. And the closing credits are stylized as a kaleidoscope, as well as some of the effects in the film themselves. So we either perceive what’s going on wrong, or we don’t see the whole picture. The second seems more likely to me.
How are “The Endless” and “Resolution” films actually related?
The events of the two movies by Aaron Muirhead and Justin Benson take place on the same Indian reservation, the same characters are encountered, and the same omnipotent entity is abused (even in a similar way). Well, each picture gives answers to what’s going on in the other. It’s even worth saying that you shouldn’t watch them separately – they’re too closely interconnected.
For example, in “The Endless” Justin meets in the cultist camp Michael’s wife, the protagonist of “Resolution.” Except that if her husband left her and rushed to save his friend from drug addiction before she even had the baby, so now we now know that she gave birth safely, left it in her parents’ care, and went looking for her prodigal spouse. But she ended up in a time loop, too, and was stuck on the reservation. Justin doesn’t tell Michael that his wife is in the neighborhood, and he doesn’t want to get involved in other people’s business at all. But we now know for a fact that at least a few years passed between the events of both films.
If you’re left with too many questions after watching “The Endless,”, then you either don’t remember “Resolution,” or you missed the filmmakers’ debut tape.
A paradox that few have noticed
If you’ve seen “Resolution,” you know that directors Aaron Moorehead and Justin Benson played tiny roles in them – cultists themselves that Michael met at the creek. And Aaron even introduced himself. And in “The Endless,” we are shown a picture (or video?) of this very moment, taken by an unknowing force. Perhaps this is just an “inside joke” and shouldn’t be paid much attention to. But it is possible that this is either the past or the future of the brothers in the creative duo’s new film. There is a possibility that we are shown one of the possible futures that Justin changed after escaping with his brother from the cult – they were supposed to reform the sect into a community of people in white robes. But I don’t rule out the possibility that the brothers, even after the “The Endless” finale, could have returned to the camp for some reason and stayed there forever. And then their time loop closed permanently.
Will there be a sequel?
Judging by the fact that “The Endless” and “Resolution” are not only connected, but also perfectly complement each other (the first film tells a little more about the reservation, shows the inhabitant of the mysterious van, and explains the origin of the “red grass” smoked by cultists; the second more fully reveals the essence of the mysterious and unexplainable living in the reservation and makes an emphasis on life in the sect), the issue of the third part of the conventional trilogy is just a matter of time. And finances. But something tells me that the Moorhead and Benson series is destined for the future of the typical cult movie. This means that in another five years, we’ll get the finale.