Faults (2014)

Faults (2014)
  • Time: 93 min
  • Genre: Drama | Thriller
  • Director: Riley Stearns
  • Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Lance Reddick, Jon Gries, Leland Orser


Claire is under the grip of a mysterious new cult called Faults. Desperate to be reunited with their daughter, Claire’s parents recruit one of the world’s foremost experts on mind control, Ansel Roth.

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  • It would not be entirely unreasonable, based on the opening debrief of writer-director Riley Stearns’ debut feature Faults, to expect a black comedy centering on a born loser about to add another notch of failure on his belt. Ansel Roth (Leland Orser) is depicted as a pathetic loser – forcibly removed from a hotel restaurant when he insists on reusing an already validated voucher; pilfering toiletries, towels, and even the battery from a remote control before he’s evicted from his hotel room; and charging five dollars to autograph a copy of his slow-selling second book. He’s a man pinballing from one humiliation to another, the latest being a dressing down chased with a kick in the ribs from a man whose sister unsuccessfully underwent Ansel’s cult deprogramming process.

    With a debt collector (Lance Reddick) threatening more bodily harm if Ansel doesn’t pay back his publisher, the downtrodden author and cult expert has no choice but to be hired by a desperate couple (Beth Grant and Chris Ellis) whose 28-year-old daughter Claire (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has been ensorcelled by the titular cult. The plan is to kidnap her, isolate her in a motel, and undo the brainwashing. It’s dangerous and expensive, Ansel warns, and there’s no guarantee of course correction. The parents agree, Claire is snatched and sequestered, and Ansel sets about to deprogram her.

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