Faye is More Than a Self-Absorbed Monologue
Brilliant describes this unique one actress film by the writing team, KD Amond and Sarah Zanotti. Directed by KD Amond (The Big Short, Five Women in the End) and starring Sarah Zanotti (The Unraveling, Rattled), this indie cinematic team is a perfect example of talented creators making true film magic.
The film is a horror movie about a woman and a smartphone that premiered at the 2021 Nashville Film Festival. It is a brilliant film that connects with its audience, illustrating how great talent and a clever idea trump mega budgets every time.
Faye is a story about trauma and (self) healing – is there any other kind? It is also a film about the five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The movie recognizes that, if left unresolved, life’s tribulations can lead to debilitating mental illness.
We join Faye (Sarah Zanotti), a bestselling self-help author, six months after a car accident left her scarred and grieving for her husband. While on a mandatory imposed writing retreat, she grapples with both of her beloved public and off-camera personalities. Her happy and confident on-camera persona contrasts her battle with depression and guilt. As her drinking and hallucinations escalate, she is also tormented by a terrifying figure that is vaguely familiar.
Faye is a suspenseful, thoughtful film, even if the film synopsis is a bit prosaic: a woman talks to herself in a cabin. But don’t misunderstand. Faye is more than a self-absorbed monologue. And it is certainly not a ‘chick-flick.’ Many actors try the challenging, one-person structure. Few, if any, succeed.
Zanotti, however, demonstrates extraordinary skill and creativity. And in addition to her range of talents and captivating style, she and Amond utilize unique cinematic tools, such as the black box segments, to advance a complex narrative. This rarely used device allows Faye to read from her supposedly finished novel to contextualize what is happening in the cabin.
Zanotti’s approach to Faye combines heartbreak and humor. And her character’s self-recrimination and grief are palpable. To anyone who has struggled with loss, this is a relatable film. Faye also struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder. In one snarky OCD moment, she admits defeat allowing the off-center light fixture to remain.
Amond and Zanotti achieve a remarkable amount with such limited resources. Faye is nothing short of an indie horror masterpiece shot by a five-person crew on a lilliputian budget.
The camera’s movement is realistic- as if there were a second person in the cabin watching Faye’s movement, with the static black box scenes complementing the action. These segments work in part to absolutely flawless editing.
In horror, timing is everything, and the movie’s pacing is pitch-perfect.
The jump scares are rarely telegraphed and consistently linger, creating more than an initial shot of adrenalin. And the decision to cast Zanotti as Captain Howdy, the apparition, was brilliant. Her physicality makes your skin crawl more than even the most realistic CGI demons. And even though the spirit is terrifying, it is impossible to look away.
Produced by AZ if Productions, Faye is available on Demand and on Prime Video. Grab the popcorn and the biggie wine glass. Faye is absolutely, positively one to watch.
Faye (2022) Official Trailer