What makes a group a cult?
Is it a fanatical belief in something absurd? Well, that would take in a LOT of groups we see as benign in this culture. A charismatic leader who has bad intentions that are only revealed in the last reel?
There again…a lot of groups.
For these two movies, it’s a group of people who control and brainwash others in order to get what they want.
Very often, these things are nefarious.
They also make for very compelling viewing.
Everybody knows the Olsen Twins.
This movie proved that there was a third, more talented Olsen girl. Elizabeth Olsen plays Martha, a young woman who is trying to get back into the swing of things after being brainwashed by a cult run by Patrick (John Hawkes). The cult, of course, sexually abused Martha and even changed her name to Marcy May.
She escapes of her own volition and runs to her sister’s house. Her sister and brother-in-law (Sarah Paulson and Hugh Dancy) do their best to help her, but things might have gone farther than anyone thought.
I was amazing not only with this movie, but with the performances of Olsen and Hawkes. She is perfect as an innocent woman coiled into the snake pit of a destructive and abusive cult and he is absolutely the creepiest person in the universe as the Manson-like cult leader who will do anything it takes to make these young women his. In every way.
You may forget the name of this movie (I’ve never been able to remember it), but don’t forget to see it. So good. So creepy. So much better than you thought.
Written and directed by Riley Sterns
Ansel (Leland Orser in a pretty rare lead role) is a self-proclaimed expert in cultist behavior. If you want your loved one dissimilated from a cult, you come to him…or, at least, HE thinks you do. He’s pretty much a hack who is down on his luck. He can’t even get the hotel he’s speaking at to treat him like more than scum.
When distraught parents (Beth Grant and Chris Ellis) come to him to help get their daughter, Claire (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) out of a cult, he tries to put them off. Until they flash enough money in front of his face to pay off his former manager.
Claire is an interesting young lady, though. She’s strong-willed and very entrenched in the cult. Can her break her? Or will she break him?
Working kind of like a reverse Martha Marcy May Marlene, Faults is a darkly hilarious flick about how easy it is to get involved in a cult in the first place. Maybe not a great film on the level of MMMM, but still filled with great performances and characters that you just….barely….like.