Cult Classics

You need to watch the most twisted cult thriller for free online ASAP

“I’m not lost. I found myself.”

Escaping from a cult isn’t as simple as staging a prison break.

It is both a physical and mental process known as “deprogramming.” Former cult members must be mentally stripped down to their base beliefs. Then, from there, they can be rebuilt as their true selves. It’s a messy, intense, and emotional process.

This 2015 thriller depicts deprogramming — confronting and then subverting the process. It results in a mesmerizing cult thriller that will leave you reeling. Here’s why you should stream it online for free on Tubi immediately.

Faults is a 2015 psychological thriller written and directed by Riley Stearns. It stars Stearns’ then-wife, genre film icon Mary Elizabeth Winstead, as Claire, a member of a mysterious cult known only as “Faults.”

Claire’s parents approach Ansel Roth (Leland Orser), a self-proclaimed cult expert, for help getting their daughter back. Down on his luck and in the red after self-publishing a book, Ansel agrees to deprogram Claire when he learns the fee could pay off his debts.

The “deprogramming” process is hilariously ramshackle. Ansel’s henchmen kidnap Claire from a grocery store and bring her to a rundown motel. There, Ansel confronts her about her true identity, but Claire sticks to her Faults identity. Over the course of the movie, Claire’s deprogramming goes terribly awry but not in the way you might think.

Claire struggles with cult deprogramming in Faults.Screen Media Films

Deprogramming, as depicted in Faults, is more or less accurate to actual deprogramming practices. But deprogramming isn’t just a one-and-done process. It’s a long-term practice that requires the subject to want to get better, and it’s unclear if Claire truly reaches that point.

The cult in Faults bears some similarities to the infamous Heaven’s Gate cult, which staged a mass suicide. That issue makes the stakes in Faults extremely high. Yes, it has its comedic moments, but Claire’s deprogramming is still an issue of life and death.

Ansel tries to get into Claire’s head.Screen Media Films

While Claire is the focus of the deprogramming, the film serves as a character study for Ansel as he faces his own debts, delusions of grandeur, and even a dark secret concerning another cult victim — a situation that closely resembles Claire’s. Is Ansel deprogramming her to save an innocent victim or forgive himself for his own past wrongdoings?

This question is answered by the end when both Claire and Ansel find their own “faults” and come to a consensus. It’s not what you’d expect, and it’s not a twist I’m going to spoil here. However, rest assured, this cult thriller is unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

Faults is now streaming on Tubi in the U.S.

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