Stillwater is the kind of mystery thriller where everything goes wrong. And in the worst possible way! The scariest part is that it’s pretty believable.

Stillwater is the kind of thriller where the story feels familiar right off the bat. The characters don’t seem like strangers and you feel like you know where the story is going.

And sure, you may be able to guess parts of the plot, but you (probably) won’t guess all of it. Also, you should enjoy the ride there in any case.

Basically, six lifelong friends go camping as a reunion of sorts. Already during the first night, something goes terribly wrong and only five of them are still alive the following morning.

Loved the characters

For Stillwater to work, the characters have to work. Not only individually but as a whole. After all, the story is about six lifelong friends. For me, the characters worked on all levels. And they especially worked well as a team.

I almost felt like I knew several of them already. Basically, they’re on the cusp of being stereotypes, but not in any bad or stereotypical way. They’re more like arch types.

You can instinctively relate to these guys. Whether they remind you of someone you like or not, it just feels like the kind of people where you can guess their actions ahead of time. The interesting part of Stillwater is that you get to see how they all react under extreme pressure.

Many of the characters are portrayed by familiar faces. For example, we have Tyler Ritter from Arrow and Carlena Britch who you might have seen in The X-Files or Supernatural. 

Stillwater (2018)

The perfect runtime

For me, a lot of the movies I really enjoy tend to be at a runtime of around 90 minutes. That hour and a half mark just tend to result in a well-edited story. Stillwater is yet another example that fits with this theory.

Don’t get me wrong, I can enjoy those long adventure movies. In fact, I pretty much adore them. Still, for a good thriller, the story (and storytelling) needs to be tight and crisp to keep the audience engaged.

Also, if you want to catch them with their guard down, you need to keep a good pace. Overall, Stillwater manages all these things to perfection.

Stillwater (2018)

Actor, writer, and director

Nino Aldi directed and co-wrote Stillwater. Also, Nino Aldi stars in the movie as one of the six friends. In fact, it’s one of the more edgy personalities that quickly become very important as the situation escalates.

This is the first feature film by Nino Aldi, who already has a few short films on his resume. We don’t know what he has in store next, but we would love an even darker horror thriller. He clearly has a great take on suspense.

Stillwater is out on Blu-ray and digital in the US now.


Director: Nino Aldi
Writer: Nino Aldi, Jay Ostrowski, Joseph Rein
Cast: Tyler Ritter, Carlena Britch, Eric Michael Roy, Nino Aldi, Travis Quentin Young, Mike Foy, Ryan Vincent


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.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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