Tuesday, March 10, 2015

[Review] Faults

Faults is the debut feature of writer/director Riley Stearns. There's a bit of promise shown here with the films early, off-beat & dark "Fargo" vibes, but it also leaves much to be desired.

Ansel Roth (Leland Orser) is a grumpy "mind control expert", living out of his shabby car (call him the Saul Goodman of the therapy game). He makes pennies by traveling and giving half-assed self-help speeches, where audience members suddenly ask, "Wait, who are you?" Eventually he's approached by two troubled parents, whose daughter Claire (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has joined a creepy religious cult. The parents offer Roth big bucks to get her out, and he obliges.

The premise ends up being a lot less interesting than advertised. Roth easily abducts Claire and places her in a drab motel room where he conducts mental experiments to lure her away from the cult life. There's a lot of talking and analyzing that is more patience-testing than engaging. It's a slow burn that never fully delivers, even considering the twists that come late in the story.

Unfortunately with Faults, it's all just a distant memory.


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