As big fans of the shorts of filmmaker Riley Stearns (we wrote about The Cub here), we had to include his feature debut on our list of our most anticipated movies of 2015. The movie is titled Faults, and it has an unnerving yet sort of wacky new trailer, seen above. Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays a member of a cult who is taken away for deprogramming by a mind-control expert (Leland Orser) at the request of her parents (Beth Grant and Chris Ellis). Even without the pull quote from Indiewire’s Eric Kohn, it’s easy to get a sense of the movie being a cross between Martha Marcy May Marlene and the Coen brothers.
Our own review of the movie from SXSW last year, by Jack Giroux, isn’t quite as positive as Kohn and the rest of the critics blurbed in the trailer. But Jack does note that Winstead and Orser give exceptional performances and highlights the cinematography of Michael Ragen and promising talent of Stearns. The faults of Faults, he writes, come in the execution of the story. In the second half “it becomes problematic. The slow-burning buildup leads to an unsatisfying payoff. Stearns doesn’t end with a bang nor try to answer every question, thankfully, but the final reveal doesn’t have any oomph to it. Faults goes exactly where you expect it to, without ever having much to say.”
I’m still hoping that I like the film a bunch, in part because I already love the poster enough to want to own it (if anything, the movie could be a contender for one award at the end of the year – see that poster down below) and I’m already into the characters as portrayed by the two leads. It’s pretty hard to imagine disliking anything Winstead is in – or at least her in anything – and Orser has been an enjoyable character actor for decades and deserves a good central showcase like this.
Faults opens one month from today, hitting theaters and iTunes on March 6, 2015.