Benson and Moorhead, The Evolution of Horror

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If you go through my past reviews and compare the ratings you will probably come to a conclusion that I am a science fiction horror fan, which is completely untrue. If anything, I have always avoided sci-fi in general. It just so happens that I’ve watched a few really good ones lately, which I can’t say about slashers. It looks as if horror movie directors have drained their inspiration for a good gory horror. I suppose sci-fi is a much wider sub-genre, and director’s imagination can run wilder there. Well, actually not wilder, (because what’s wilder than a slasher?), but more freely. So, in that spirit, I will tell you about ‘The Endless’, without making a usual review.

 

 

 

I have been a Benson/Moorhead partnership fan for a while now and…No, no scratch that. ‘Fan’ is such an understatement. I have been religiously worshiping everything they did so far. These two are slowly changing the shape of horror, bending it yet again, until it becomes a whole new kind of spine-chilling. Ever since ‘Resolution’ came out in 2012, I’ve been looking forward to any creative news about them. ‘Resolution’ took friendship to a whole new level and managed to make a sad situation mind-boggling, while making strong and unforgettable movie characters. In 2014 they did ‘Bonestorm’ segment of the ‘V/H/S: Viral’ anthology and they managed to give a new dimension to already chewed up sub-genre of found-footage horror. Let’s be honest, there’s only so much you can do with one premise, and after hundreds of movies based on the idea of recovered recordings, we thought we saw it all. So, Benson and Moorhead did ‘Bonestorm’ and proved us wrong. That same year, ‘Spring’ came out, and created romance where romance usually comes to die. This movie awakens so many questions and opposite feelings, and it stays with you long after you’ve watched it. The beauty of it is undeniable, but so is the cruelty.

Their newest movie, ‘The Endless’ shares the same creative space as 2012’s ‘Resolution’. At one point, Michael and Chris even meet Justin (played by Benson himself), but their time-loop resets right after, so the fact that they’ve met him doesn’t change anything. All of Benson/Moorhead’s horrors have the obvious subject, and the not-so-obvious one. That other one is the actual center of the movie, and it usually holds some deeper message. In ‘The Endless’ the obvious one is the idea of a UFO cult gathered around the lake, together with some other people. Each of those groups or individuals fall into a time-loop and have to relive some period of their existence over and over again. You are probably confused right now, so I’ll just stop “explaining”. The not-so-obvious subject is family, or more specifically, brotherhood. This whole mechanism is put into motion when Justin and Aaron (Benson and Moorhead themselves) decide to go on a road trip and revisit the “culty” commune that they were once a part of. What ultimately bought me was the fact that these two wizards actually managed to make a subject so complicated work so good in an indie movie, without any major special effects and without insulting the viewer’s intelligence. The idea of numerous parallel time loops existing around one lake, holding captive several different individuals and groups, brought to life on such a low budget, but with so much taste and enthusiasm…You just fall in love with it. ‘The Endless’ brings this completely new dark magic into our genre and if you want to see horror bent into something fresh and haunting, you should see this movie asap.

Basically, Benson and Moorhead bring depth to a genre which isn’t really known for having one. Some might argue and say that the shallowness and simple gore of horror genre, is exactly why we love it, but I think everything changes, constantly. Just like the universe is constantly expanding, so is our favorite genre, and visionaries such as Benson and Moorhead are the reason why we will continue to watch horror movies in the future. Growth of our genre requires some new people who will find our hidden fears and drag them out in the open, some new people to ask new questions and create different dimensions.

In the end, I will leave you with my favorite scene from the movie. Enjoy.

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