Like most, if you have just watched The Endless and are looking for some answers, you’ve come to the right place. However, you’ll be pleased to know that The Endless 2017 is a sequel to the movie Resolution 2012 and the two films come together damn well. Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead are the directors who are also part of The Endless cast. Resolution is centered on Michael who’s trying to get his friend, Chris, to quit drugs. While The Endless follows the brothers Aaron and Justin, who return to a camp whose members are believed to be UFO worshippers. Here’s The Endless explained, and how the film connects to Resolution. Spoilers ahead.
In case you haven’t already, please give the Resolution Explained article a read first as that will help with the full understanding of the movie The Endless.
Resolution and The Endless Monster Explained
An undefined supernatural Entity or Monster has inhabited a specific area where both films are based out of. The Being rarely reveals itself but has the power to send visual information to people based on what it sees in the past and the future. The Monster’s primary objective is to trap people in an endless time-loop to witness how these folks behave given the knowledge that they are stuck perpetually in their time-domes. From the movies, it is pretty clear that the Monster can reach out to anybody in the city through pictures and videotapes.
How do people get stuck in the loop in The Endless and Resolution?
When the Monster comes face-to-face with the person, three possible things could happen – the person conforms, gets killed, or runs for it. In the case of death or submission, the person is trapped in the endless loop. However, if they manage to out-run the Monster, then they are indeed free to leave.
What is a Time-Dome?
The person, or group, is not just caught in an endless time-loop, but are also stuck in their own time-domes. This is essentially a physical boundary that can’t be crossed once trapped. Folks caught in one time-dome cannot interact with other time-domes. However, the ones who are yet to be trapped can navigate through multiple time-domes as they haven’t begun looping.
The Endless Explained
Justin and Aaron in The Endless
Resolution ends with Michael and Chris being confronted by the Monster and subjected to eternal looping. While it is not mentioned explicitly, the two of them are confined to their own time-dome. In the middle of the movie Resolution, Michael runs into three people – Justin, Aaron, and David. These three are from a nearby camp. Many years back, as kids, Justin and Aaron were rescued by the camp members from their mother’s burning car. The spot where they leave a memorial drawing for their mother is within the time-dome, this explains why the painting doesn’t age.
The Camp Arcadia in The Endless
This is the time-dome where the majority of The Endless takes place. The people have accrued over the years in this time-dome. Tim is one of the oldest, and Hal is the spokesperson. Lizzy is the crazy girl who goes knocking on the cabin where Michael and Chris are. Anna is the one in the video that Aaron receives, but she didn’t send it, the Monster did.
The span of the time-loop for the Camp is about 10 years. In one of their loops, they happen to rescue Justin and Aaron. But before the completion of the time-loop, Justin decides that the folks in the Camp are UFO nuts and he forcibly leaves with Aaron. Because of this, the two don’t get caught in the loop.
Other known Time-Domes / Time-Loops
Apart from Michael & Chris and the Camp, we have:
Shitty Carl – A guy who’s stuck in 3-hour loop. He calls it a time-prison and prefers to prematurely kill himself than let the Monster end his loop.
The French Guy and Trailer – Byron doesn’t feature in this film, but we know that he lives alone in his time-dome while his compadres fought and fled.
The Early 1900s Guy – There is the worst of all time-loops that we are shown where a guy is looping every 5 seconds. And given he’s credited as the early 1900s guy, that over 100 years of a 5-second loop! Ouch!
Duration of a Time-Loop in The Endless
The Entity decides the length of the loop depending on the story inside – the beginning, middle, and the end. For Michael and Chris, it is one week because that was the duration Michael had planned to keep Chris handcuffed initially. The Camp seems to have 10 years because there seem to be more people and perhaps a more significant dynamics.
There is a popular theory that more defiant the people in the loop are, the shorter their time-loops get. The Camp finds it an honour to be killed by the Monster, and they get a long 10 years. Shitty Carl perhaps started with a longer loop but was reduced to three hours as a punishment for his non-adherence. Michael and Chris could suffer the same fate in time too. Maybe the 1900s guy didn’t have it this bad in the beginning.
Justin’s Character and the Truth
Justin is a control freak. When he realizes that things aren’t going in a way that can give him the power to lead, he chooses to abandon the Camp. After exiting, Justin goes on to lie about the people in the group being a UFO death cult and that they are all castrated. If you notice the scene from Resolution, it is Justin who tells Michael “Our whole thing is just making sure that people know that the celestial Messiah will land his vessel before the end of days”. At no point does anyone else ever specifically mention Aliens. This is something Justin misrepresents.
Aaron is an optimist, and as a kid, he loved his time in the Camp. But then that ended abruptly, thanks to Justin. In the past decade, they’ve lived miserable lives doing odd cleaning jobs. Aaron hates the life that his brother has forcibly built for him. The Camp has already had one reset since the brothers left, the next one is coming up. The Monster sends out a video to Aaron, which has Anna talking about the Ascension, which is just a word they use for the time-loop reset.
Return to Camp Arcadia
Justin agrees to make a one-day trip to the Camp for the sake of his brother. They notice that no one has aged (because no grows older when looping). Aaron begins acknowledging that they are all ordinary people, but Justin still presses on about the Cult. The brothers experience weird occurrences:
- Totem poles, which cause the space between to bust bullets. This is the edge of a time-dome.
- The tug-of-war that the Camp seems to play joyfully with the Monster, Aaron wins too.
- A Ball Trick which seems to defy gravity.
- Justin meets Jennifer Danube who claims to be looking for her lost husband (Michael Danube) but doesn’t have any clue how long she’s been around.
- Flashing of the sun with kicking up of dust when Justin is out running.
- Photograph of a buoy appearing before Justin
- Two moons in the sky which has no explanation. Hal mentions that the appearance of the third would mark the Ascension and that Justin should follow his clue and find out the answer at the bottom of the lake.
- A reflection line which Aaron views with Anna.
- A cassette at the lake bottom which reveals that Justin was misrepresenting the Camp stating “celestial messiah”.
A Quarrel Ensues
The Monster has carefully pitted Aaron against Justin. Aaron sees his brother as a liar, and they go their separate ways. Justin loses his path and ends up running into Carl and his dead body. Dead Carl is from the previous loop and will disappear when the reset happens. Carl asks Justin to get a gun from Chris in exchange for a map to the way out.
Gun-Nut Tweaker Guy in The Endless is Chris from Resolution
Earlier, Lizzy mentions that she used to clean up sores for the Gun-Nut guy, we now know that it’s Chris. The reason Lizzy could meet Chris from another time-dome is that it was before the time she started looping at the Camp. The same goes for Chris and Carl, they used to be shooting partners before their loops began. Justin reaches the cabin where we see Michael and Chris are trying different things to break out of their circle. Justin realizes that Jennifer is Michael’s wife but doesn’t say anything to Michael about meeting her. Knowing that they are each stuck in their eternal loops without the possibility of ever meeting, Justin believes ignorance is bliss and lets Michael assume that Jennifer moved on and is happy with their kid.
French Guy’s Trailer
The Monster gives Aaron a picture of the trailer, and Hal gives him the directions to it. My thought is that the Monster wants to isolate the brothers in their own time-dome and not have them as part of the Camp. At this point, the brothers hate each other, and it would be lovely for the Monster to have only the two of them in a time-done. The brothers meet at the trailer, and when they leave, we see the Entry hurl a video player at the far distance. Here, we are given a clear shot of the time-domes. The brothers head to Carl’s give him the gun and take the map. Carl uses the firearm to kill himself, only to reset his loop.
Aaron Wants to Stay
Aaron prefers eternal looping at the Camp than the mundane life with his brother in the city. The experiences so far finally make Justin give up his need for control and honours Aaron’s decision to stay. Looks like all Aaron ever wanted was Justin’s respect, and Aaron is fine to return to the city with his brother.
The Endless Ending Explained
Ascension begins as they find the pulpy remains of the Camp members. The Monster unleashes on the Camp, and the brothers make a run for it, driving towards time-dome’s edge. Before the Monster can get to them, they break out of the time-dome and hit the road to freedom. Justin finally understands his folly and gives control to Aaron, who’s driving the car.
The Endless: Gas Tank Empty!
Justin tells Aaron that they need to fill gas. Aaron mentions that it has always been that way. There is no time-loop happening here. Aaron is merely pointing out that the fuel meter is busted and that they have enough gas. Justin backs off and says “You figure it out”, and this is Justin giving Aaron decision making powers even if it means they may halt with an empty tank. Everything now appears far more straightforward than being stuck in an eternal death loop. Bottom line – Aaron and Justin made it out, and Justin will try to be a better man.
Do check out the explanation to the prequel, Resolution, click below:
Barry is a technologist who helps start-ups build successful products. His love for movies and production has led him to write his well-received film explanation and analysis articles to help everyone appreciate the films better. He’s regularly available for a chat conversation on his website and consults on storyboarding from time to time.
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