A wild head-spinner that will make you feel like you’re the one who joined a cult

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Two brothers return to the “UFO death cult” they escaped from years before in “The Endless,” the mysterious, tripped-out, thoroughly assured sci-fi thriller written, directed, edited, produced, shot by and starring Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead.

Benson is Justin, the older of the two brothers, who is more than happy to leave his cult days in the past. Moorhead, playing younger brother, Aaron (their characters are named after themselves), has his curiosity spiked when he receives a strange video message from one of the group members. He convinces his brother to return with him, just for a day, to visit their old stomping grounds and catch up with old acquaintances.

“The Endless” plays with viewers’ heads from the onset. Is this commune a “cult,” or just a collection of friendly people living off the grid in dusty California and brewing beer to sell to be able to sustain their lifestyle? But as strange occurrences begin piling up — odd shifts in time, the presence of more than one moon in the sky — it’s clear something very strange is afoot, and the team of Benson and Moorhead have a blast slowly drawing back the curtain for audiences.

“The Endless” grows more mind-boggling as it goes on, but Benson and Moorhead (2014’s “Spring”) keep the film grounded, making its twists and turns all the more compelling. Together they create something you haven’t seen before, thanks not to the star power of their cast (they’re all no-namers) or their extravagant special effects (everything is done on a shoestring budget), but because of the power of their imagination. Now there’s a cult worth buying into.

agraham@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2284

@grahamorama

‘The Endless’

GRADE: B+

Not rated, but language, intense subject matter

Running time: 112 minutes

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