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  • Margarita Mejia

Thriller Movie Rec of the Week!

As the season transitions into spring, I’ve been intrigued by existential concepts and psychological elements in the curious nature of art that is film. From watching The Menu to the absurd Don’t Worry Darling, there’s such beauty and enjoyment that I experience from the mind-boggling twists that arise within the plot.

Faults is a nail-biting and very much toe-curling thriller -- I was not anticipating an ending that made perfect sense. Riley Stearn seamlessly delivers a resolution to a provoking plot that provides a sense of relief for the viewer. I feel that Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who played Claire, was perfectly cast in her role, as well as Leland Orser who played Ansel, the cult deprogramming protagonist. They both portray such naturalistic and absurd personalities in which each mad character tries to “save” one another. Though mostly through dialogue and staging of the actors, the twist and subtle message in the concluding scenes was like the most bold epiphany one could ever experience.

Usually, I picture the conversion of cult membership as 2 people being of the same gender and this portrays a sense of the powerful manipulation a woman or an agendered entity can have. I find it appealing how Stearns portrays Claire as, at first, a stubborn and vulnerable woman but later the contrasting and turning of the tables of her role (especially in regards to the cult) faults. The visuals really bring you within the space; for example, the same shot will pan out and spin to face the other individuals at a breakfast joint. The soft zooming in while the actors deliver such chilling lines adds to the sensitivity in space of the scenes.

I look forward to watching more films directed by Riley Stearn as this work of art blew my mind on the first watch. I feel that movies made in pre-pandemic such as the one discussed are more tangible in their realistic type of atmosphere, however, I’m Thinking of Ending Things (which I wrote a previous blog about) hits very close to this type of film direction.

--- Margarita Mejia


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