March 08, 2015

Faults (2014)

Faults (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Riley Stearns
Country: USA

Movie Review: Under the direction of debutant writer/director Riley Stearns, “Faults” falls in the particular category of thrillers about cult groups, the same that incorporates “Martha Marcy May Marlene”, “Sound of My Voice” and on a completely different level, the brilliant “The Master”. Mr. Stearns shows to be resourceful in a handful of shots while maintains a positive narrative stability among compelling drama, unfathomable mystery, and dark humor. The film opens with Dr. Ansel Roth (Leland Orser) eating in a hotel restaurant and trying to pay the bill with a voucher already used. A situation that doesn’t embarrass the moody Ansel, an advocate of free will with a polemic past, who was preparing himself for another presentation about 'lost people under the control of others', materialized in his new book entitled ‘Follower’. Coming off a broken marriage, and losing credibility in his theories and methods (some guy in the audience even beat him up), Ansel’s future seems not very encouraging, fact aggravated when his former manager, Terry (Jon Gries), gives him an ultimatum to pay off a huge debt. His chance to get away with this last situation comes when a couple asks for his help with their daughter, Claire (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who avoids contact with family and friends after joining a cult group called ‘Faults’. Ansel’s solution: kidnap Claire and submit her to a 5-day program to clean her mind, paying the debt with the income for his services. The Q&A that comes next gives us a clearer picture of the cult but can’t explain the mysterious occurrences they are experiencing. It's all about assuming control. The same control brought into play by Leland Orser, here resembling Dustin Hoffman, and turning him into the heart of the film.

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