Faye, written by director Kd Amond and star Sarah Zanotti, is a one-woman starring horror film. While the titular character’s agent’s voice is heard from time to time, the only character ever seen on screen is that of Faye. Zanotti portrays the best-selling self-help author, who is stuck in a rut after the death of her husband in a car crash. The agent, as mentioned earlier, convinces Faye to go to her cabin in the woods to get away and focus on her next book.
During her stay at the cabin, Faye believes she’s encountering a ghost. Is it her dear, departed significant other? Or is it some malevolent spirit intent on causing her harm? Perhaps, Faye’s delicate psyche has conjured up these images as a way to deal with the pain. Real or not, the guilt she feels is gnawing away at her, and Faye will need to face up to her demons, both literal and figurative if she hopes to move on in life.
“…Faye believes she’s encountering a ghost.”
The plot of Faye might seem a bit cliched at first, but it works in surprising ways. It is true that Amond and Zanotti mine similar paths as in previous films (Howl), but their screenplay finds the right balance of pathos and intrigue. As such, even if the cycles of grief have been explored before, they’ve never felt this intimate or raw. Plus, there are fun, solid bits of levity throughout, such as Faye questioning why the cabin doesn’t have any of her three bestsellers.
However, the biggest reason for the film’s success is Zanotti, whose intense performance is mesmerizing and will leave audiences breathless. The actor does not mind looking dazed and confused or worn in several scenes. This fearlessness translates to authentic emotional beats that wind up the viewer into a frenzy until they are on the edge of their seat in anticipation. As she is the only one ever on-screen, it is paramount that Zanotti rings as truthful, and she does not fail for a second.
Faye is a captivating look at what grief can do to people. While its message has been explored before, Amond and Zanotti find new, engaging ways to bring these themes to life. Crucially, Zanotti gives a fearless, fierce performance that is scary, sweet, vulnerable, and angry all at once. Her acting and the intimate yet intense direction all equate to one unforgettable journey.
"…the biggest reason for the film's success is Zanotti..."