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The Ending Of The Endless Explained

You know you're in for a good horror movie when the opening features a quote from author H.P. Lovecraft. The third film from indie directors – and now "Moon Knight" showrunners - Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, "The Endless" has ties to their debut flick "Resolution" while being an original, terrifying story in its own right. Featuring ominous drone photography and an eerie score, the film's dread mounts with every strange image: two moons rising in the sky, a tug of war with a rope held high in the dark by an unknown being.

Benson and Moorhead also star as two brothers, naturally named Justin and Aaron. One day the two of them are contacted by Camp Arcadia, a group they belonged to as children. Older brother Justin, who "rescued" Aaron from them, remembers Arcadia as a crazed cult, while the younger Aaron has fond memories of his time there. Sick of their isolated and poverty-stricken lives, Aaron persuades Justin to visit Camp Arcadia.

Once they return, the pair find that no one at the site appears to have aged in the decade since they left and that some kind of unseen entity has control over Arcadia. If they don't leave soon, Justin and Aaron will be trapped at the camp for good with the other inhabitants. The only trouble is Aaron has no intention of leaving – even if something powerful and evil is always watching them.

This is how the, uh, ending of "The Endless" worked.

This movie and previous film Resolution share the same universe

As it turns out, the inhabitants of Camp Arcadia exist in a kind of time bubble created by the entity, who communicates with the humans only through photos and videos. The creature controlling the area is never seen, but it is implied that as with a lot of cosmic horror, the thing has power akin to that of a god. The Arcadia members restart their timeline every 10 years once a third moon ascends to the sky – the entity rips the camp to pieces, and they begin the loop again.

Other characters Justin runs into near the camp, meanwhile, are in much worse situations, repeating violent deaths again and again, apparently for the amusement of the entity. This is where Benson and Moorhead staged a crossover with "Resolution," as Justin meets the lead characters from that film, Chris and Mike. 

"The Endless" reveals that the force keeping them from leaving in "Resolution" and the monster of this film are one and the same, and five years after the first film, Chris and Mike are still caught in a seven-day time loop that can only end in their deaths. Justin is only able to watch helplessly as the characters begin the week once again, permanently trapped in a nightmare.

The Endless is about brotherhood

For all of "The Endless"'s focus on evil cosmic entities and time rifts, however, the heart of the movie is the relationship between the two brothers. Justin was only trying to protect his sibling, but he was still wrong to force Aaron to leave and take on an unhappy life outside Camp Arcadia. Aaron, meanwhile, has to confront the gulf between his happy memories of the group and the weird, terrifying events surrounding the camp.

Both characters confront their pasts and become healthier people as a result: Once Justin apologizes to Aaron for putting him through misery, Aaron is ready to leave Camp Arcadia with his brother and accept the present.

Meanwhile, the inhabitants of the camp meet the moon's third ascension with open arms, basically restarting their timelines and embracing the past. Justin and Aaron barely escape with their lives once the entity starts to destroy the camp, but they ultimately get away and move forward. Compared to most Lovecraftian horror stories, it's a fairly happy ending – at least for them. Others like Chris and Mike aren't quite so lucky.