Stillwater (2003)

MV5BMjE5NDE4MDk5MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzgyOTgzMQ@@._V1_Stillwater” is a carefully constructed thriller from director Adrian Kays and his debut feature film, depicting a troubled young man in search of his father and uncovering a gruesome past in the process.

The problem with it is that it is too carefully constructed and the “craftsmanship” gets into the way of the story in as much as your interest wanes as the plot unfolds. You recognize that all the ingredients for a thriller are there and that the director has thought it through, it’s just not interesting. Compelling storytelling needs compelling characters and ambience. The actors unfortunately could have been better and the sound track is just annoying at times.

The story of a young man who wants to find his real father is as generic as they come and there are many sayings that evolve around “like father like son” and this holds true here also, the twist being that we are talking about a psychotic murderer. Revealing this to the viewer does not shock nor does it heighten the suspense and for the most part of the movie you get the feeling as if nothing ever happens or when it does, you are too distanced from it to care.

Eventually the movie comes full circle and we are back at the first scene inviting the viewer to speculate about what really happened to the protagonist. Did he really kill his foster parents and his girl friend, is he really also a mass murderer like his father before him? Or … was it his father? Luke?


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