REVIEW: Faults

4 07 2015

FaultsDon’t believe the marketing – “Faults” is NOT a cult movie. The film is, however, a story a pathetic middle-aged man, Leland Orser’s Ansel, looking to pull a quick swindle by “deprogramming” the brainwashed daughter of some gullible people.

Ansel needs of money because his ex-wife took the rights to his best-selling book, so now he resorts to peddling a cheap knockoff of the text and giving canned speeches at hotels that make the backpack talks from “Up in the Air” look like a State of the Union address. Here, two concerned parents approach him for help with their daughter, Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Claire, whom they recently rescued from a fringe religious group known as “Faults.”  Since Ansel probably rented a VHS of Jane Campion’s “Holy Smoke” at a Hollywood Video, he takes on the duty of bringing her back to help pay off some debts.

His not-so-elaborate ruse doesn’t feel convincing for a second, and Ansel seems resigned before he even begins.  Fatigue sets in early with his questioning of Claire, largely because their conversations go nowhere. Writer/director Riley Stearns reveals precious little about the religious cult through Claire, so it becomes hard to tell if she is deliberately being vague about the titular cult … or if Stearns just didn’t think that far.

Winstead gives it her all, admirably, trudging on despite how little she has to work with from Stearns.  “Faults” does get slightly more interesting when Claire manages to flip the script and start asking the questions to Ansel.  But by the time the conclusion rolls around, Stearns’ call for gasps just elicited a big groan from me.  As if a big twist at the end of the road could somehow make the rest of the wandering worthwhile… C2stars



One response

7 07 2015

Nice write up! I’m bummed you didn’t like it more. I was really impressed with it. Orser and Winstead were excellent.

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