I only had a hazy awareness of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, the writer and directors, before watching these movies. But having discovered them, I now realize that they are doing just about my favorite thing in film: Quirky, intense, psychological drama wound around some high concept science fiction.
Going in, I hadn't realized the two films are related. But then they contain the same scene, viewed from two different angles (pictured above), and it starts to become clearer. As it happens, I watched them out of order - my enthusiasm for The Endless caused me to look up their earlier Resolution. But with hindsight, I think this is actually the best order to view them. If Resolution has a weakness, it's that the science fictional elements seem a bit arbitrary. Why should this supernatural entity focus its narrative-obsessed attentions on these two men, here in this cabin, out in the middle of nowhere? But in The Endless, this particular brand of supernatural outlandishness is revealed to be just part of a wider pattern, affecting many people in this geographical area. Although this is the bigger, weirder story, it is more fully fleshed out and becomes more believable, creating a setting which recontextualizes and improves the earlier film.
Rating: 10/10 if you like mindbending SF horror, 0/10 if you prefer something a bit more polished and comfortable.