Stillwater (2005) / Drama-Mystery
MPAA Rated: Not rated, but probably R for language and some disturbing images
Running Time: 90 min.
Cast: Andrew Hulse, Jeff Evans, Janet G. Robinson, Allen Rowell, Leon Lamar, Melanie du Poy, Janet Lombard
Director: Adrian Kays
Screenplay: Adrian Kays
Andrew Hulse plays Andrew Morrison, a 20-something guy living in the garage behind his parents rural Georgia house, mowing lawns and performing other odd jobs to eke out a meager existence for himself. He discovers a box containing a woman's personal effects, along with documentation that he had been adopted.
Insatiably curious about his past, Andrew seeks clues as to his mysterious mother's whereabouts, and he meets with some success, but once she is contacted by the son she never knew, she kills herself. This turn of events has Andrew digging even deeper to find out just what pieces of the sordid puzzle of his family's past he can uncover, which he hopes will explain his current state of mind and why he is plagued with bizarre thoughts and remembrances.
Stillwater is a lackadaisical low-budget mystery that has a few bits of intrigue going for it, but in the end, proves too drawn out and apathetic to ever deliver a consistent interest level. It's the first film written and directed by assistant film editor Adrian Kays, who does a commendable job in getting it all together given what little he had to work with in terms of a budget. Alas, the amateurishness shows in almost every facet of this low budget production, with hit-and-miss acting, inconsistent sound, and some very stiff direction throughout.
Perhaps fans of odd independent films may find something of value from this borderline esoteric mystery, especially those that typically enjoy "Twin Peaks"-type fare. If there is an audience for this kind of material, it is an extremely meager one, so chances are, unless you have a real jones to see a slow-developing, erratically executed, and perplexing thriller (if one can call this one) with lots of drag, you're better off seeking entertainment elsewhere.
©2006 Vince Leo