Director: Riley Stearns
Stars: Leland Orser, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Chris Ellis, Lance Reddick, Jon Gries, Leonard Earl Howze, Beth Grant
Faults, to put it simply, is a weird one. One could describe it as Martha Marcy May Marlene as remixed by the Coen Brothers at their funniest. Frankly, though, it's the kind of film that's best served by little pre-viewing spoilers or in-depth awareness.
Know this much: veteran character actor Leland Orser plays Ansel Roth, a celebrated expert on mind control and cult practices who's wallowing in a self-dug pit of deprecation. He's able to break out of the funk when a husband and wife team offer to pay him big bucks to find their daughter, Claire (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), save her from the dangerous cult she's been enraptured by, and "deprogram" her back into being their loving, normal child. Which Ansel does...sort of. Locking himself into a hotel room with Claire, Ansel begins to suspect that Claire's family might be just as sinister as the cult.
Faults has the feel of a cinematic stage play, one in which Orser and Winstead get it on in an unpredictable battle of wits. First-time writer-director Riley Stearns tightly volleys around from laughs to creepiness, with a constant sense of mystery and subtle dread giving way to a well-earned surprise ending.