In theatres and VOD this Friday from director/writer Riley Stearns and Screen Media Films comes a look at FAULTS.
This film tells the story of Ansel Roth (Leland Orser), an authority on cults and mind control. Anyone would be hard pressed to know any of this by the lack of public enthusiasm as he tours with his book. Out of money, his agent sending out a collections man and soon to be out of a hotel room, Ansel is approached by a couple.
They believe their daughter Claire (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is a member of a cult. They want to kidnap Claire so that Ansel can use his deprogramming methods to bring her home. Knowing he needs money, Ansel agrees to help but discovers rather quickly that Claire has a strong mind.
Once in the hotel room confined, Ansel knows immediately this is no ordinary deprogramming as Claire challenges his beliefs every moment they are together with an ending that is nothing short of shocking!
FINAL WORD: Orser as Ansel is one hot mess from start to finish yet it is impossible to take your eyes off his character. Living with his own past mistakes, desperate for something to change in his life and questioning his own sanity – there was a moment I thought he might need some deprogramming! Watching him unravel moment by moment was something I already knew Orser could do brilliantly as in his 2010 film MORNING.
Winstead as Claire is absolutely diabolical with every moment, every sentence and every action so deliberate. Oh yes, there were moments where I thought, ‘Ummmm…what just happened?’ but I enjoyed it thoroughly. What’s that saying, “keep your wits when all those around you are losing there’s”, yes, remember I said that. Winstead gives us creepy and a little more for good measure.
Other cast includes: Lance Reddick as Mick, Jon Gries as Terry, Beth Grant as Evelyn, Nicholas Tucci as James, Leonard Earl Howze as Raymond, Kellie Matteson as Jennifer.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give FAULTS three tubs of popcorn out of five. I wasn’t sure how this film was truly going to play out. That is the brilliance here, there is no way to map out the direction the film takes so just absolutely let go and let the cast do their expert and respective jobs and it’s a job well done.
Coming in at 89 minutes, it is one mind bend after the other but just who is bending whom? There is a dark comedy mixed in here and there was a time or two that I burst out laughing only to cover my mouth like I was busted for being inappropriate. Oh yea, it happens and I’m not ashamed of it.
Stearns gives the audience one heck of a ride and since he is responsible for the writing as well I hope he takes a bow. Casting spouse Winstead to play the ever surprising Claire was another stroke of genius on his part. I can’t wait to see what he puts up on the screen next!
Take quirky, add a dash of wtf, stir in a spoonful of huh?, shake vigorously and drink from the FAULT liberally and we’ll talk later.
In the end – there is a fine line between what we believe!