Stillwater Wasn’t Scary, It Certainly Was Intense
Stillwater Film Details
Director: Nino Aldi
Release Date: 13th of March 2018
Release Format: Digital
MPAA Rating: N/A
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Running Time: 1 Hr 32 Min
Social Networking: Facebook
A weekend camping trip among six old friends in Northern Minnesota’s “Boundary Waters” turns tragic after one dies under mysterious circumstances, triggering further turmoil as they attempt to unmask the killer within their own group.
Six friends go camping in a part of the woods that is remote enough to be tagged “unchartered territory”. Just like all thrillers that begin in such a setting, things quickly go downhill. Stillwater begins as an innocent night of partying but progresses to a typical murder mystery when one of the group is found dead.
Related Article Stillwater Trailer First Impressions
Stillwater begins with long-time friends drinking beer and having fun in the woods. What could possibly go wrong?
The plot finally thickens when two strange women and a man, who attended high school with the original six, show up. The man calls himself “The Wizard” and the ladies, named after plants, probably didn’t give out their birth names either. Nobody really wants them here, but the fragile alpha-male egos of the campers prevail as they finally have women to “fight over” (and the Wizard has some cool drugs to share), so they get to stay.
After a long night of chugging beer and taking miscellaneous mind-altering substances, Dawson (the token “nice guy” of the group) wakes up to find his friend Cooper dead. After testing a few theories, the group concludes that it was murder. Further, they decided that the Wizard must have done it. The only question on everyone’s mind is “who committed the crime?” This mystery is full of death, mayhem, and just the right amount of gore.
The well-choreographed aerial shot near the beginning of the film was impressive. However, that was the only noteworthy use of cinematography or lighting that I can recall, especially if I don’t wish to add any spoilers here. Otherwise, the cinematography was well-done, but the lighting was kind of dark. I understand that this is intended for setting the mood, but it was overdone. It was sometimes difficult to tell the campers apart, and I am unsure of whether this was due to the lighting or the depth of the characters. If it was the latter, it is to no fault of the actors, of course- the performances in the film were all stellar.
Despite that there were no elaborate special effects in the film, it was refreshing to see a movie that didn’t need to use over-the-top gore to pull its viewers in. Plenty of films seem to rely on blood and gore to engage viewers, and this is not one of those films. The score was remarkable; so remarkable, in fact, that it wasn’t memorable. It tied into other facets of the film neatly.
While the movie wasn’t “scary”, it certainly was intense. Though the characters would potentially be considered “bland” in real life, they fit snugly into the plot and kept it moving quickly enough to keep my attention.
I truly wish that I had more to say about Stillwater, but many of the unique aspects of this film are also potential spoilers. If I had to give the movie a “star rating”, it would probably receive 3.5 out of five stars. The actors shined where the characters did not, and the lighting fell dim where the cinematography was impressive. In short, there are ups and downs to this film, but you will have to view Stillwater for yourself to find out- and yes, it is worth watching!