2017, 362 min
Director: Jake Jaxson
From award-winning director Jake Jaxson comes The Stillest Hour, a twisted new take on the psycho-sexual thriller that explores the power of perception and reality. Norman (Will Wikle) is a highly committed psychotherapist in New York City whose life, whether he knows it or not, has been reduced to a cyclical pattern of idealistic perfection and strict personal routines. His professionalism and obsessive habits are soon tested when one of his clients, a headstrong and independent artist (Colby Keller) details - through a series of sexually provocative sessions - a budding relationship with an impressionable millennial (Levi Karter) who appears to be stalking him. When Norman becomes captivated by this power play, the tables are flipped as the boy soon becomes involved in the personal lives of both men. Prepare to go sexually deep in The Stillest Hour. REVIEW:
Cocky Boys describes as “a twisted new take on the psychosexual thriller that explores the power of perception and reality.” Plus, there’s an exploration of the perception of control and order…it’s often deceptive as to who actually has the power and control, especially as the simple but complex story unfolds.
First, let’s get right to arguably the most anticipated aspect of The Stillest Hour: Will Wikle in his porn and Cocky Boys debut. To put it simply he has an exquisite, riveting presence here visually (he really is a beautiful man) and as an actor (as for the erotic part we only get a glimpse…that’s in part two). Will plays Norman, a NYC psychotherapist who seemingly has every aspect of his life in perfect order and harmony…and control. Exceptionally fit, well-mannered, well-groomed, and well-dressed, everything in his office and home has its place and configuration with carefully chosen precision. Even his leisure time is planned and ordered. And it’s all just a little too OCD.
Will Wikle plays Norman to perfection, almost effortlessly believable as this erudite man. But there’s also a subtlety to his portrayal. Through his acting you get the strong impression that Norman’s order and control is fragile. He listens attentively to Colby Keller as his client, an artist whose life has take a fascinating turn when an enigmatic young man (Levi Karter) comes into his life. And as Colby tells the story of this semi-stalker who he can’t shake Will’s eyes and face betray a keen interest in this story. Why? Here’s where viewer conjecture comes in.
Colby tells the doctor the circumstances of his seeing Levi watching him and hanging around and it makes an impression on Will/Norman. By coincidence or design Levi meets Norman. But is it concurrent with Colby’s tale? Or did it happen in the recent past? All we know, or think we know, is that Norman meets Patrick (Levi’s character) in the park. Patrick tells his melodramatic tale of woe, being without money or a phone and Norman with a surprising degree of trust takes in this symbol of chaos and disorder into his pristine existence.
Again we don’t know for sure timeline of Levi/Patrick’s involvement with the Colby and Will characters but the relationships are both similar and contrasting. On one hand Colby meets Kevin first but it’s Will who invites Levi/Patrick into his home to stay with him, offering to help him get his phone back and setting his life back on course. Is this Will’s attempt at competition with Colby? Is he purposely inviting trouble to upset self-inflicted structure? Also, his invitation comes a telling request: “Just try and keep everything in order”.
On the other hand Colby is attracted to Levi but keeps him at bay, not letting him into his apartment which , as an artist’s flat is in a state of disarray…a place one would think would be more appropriate for Levi. and repeatedly telling him to go away like a stray dog who has followed him home. But he also orders him about, doing tasks and errands for him. And still when Levi obeys Colby he’s kept outside the loft in the stairwell.
Colby Keller also acts first sexually. He leaves his flat and goes out to stairwell/landing where Levi Karter is waiting and slowly and silently takes him. This is a powerfully hot scene that accurately reflects the dynamic between the two men. Not just well-directed it’s wonderfully shot . We can never say enough about RJ Sebastian as an artist and visual storyteller and he creates sequences and moments that are indelibly etched on the brain.
The sex with Colby and Levi grows in intensity and passion as they kiss and grope and suck and fuck in the stairwell. There’s a raw and sometimes rough sensuality in keeping with the setting. There’s also an element of visual danger as Levi is rimmed and fucked over the railing. He’s balanced precariously on the hand rail and while writer/director Jake Jaxson isn’t actually putting Levi at risk, the illusion is there.
This sex scene comes to a wildly hot conclusion with a big surprise that we simply cannot spoil for you. We don’t have to tell you how Levi Karter has really grown and how he often pushes the outside of the envelope to create erotic performance art. But he does it here again and it’s something you hardly ever see in porn. Colby Keller usually provides a stunning climax by way of a massive cumshot and does so here too, perhaps inspired by Levi.
And in spite of this bonding Colby doesn’t let Levi into his loft. After hearing the story Will asks Colby why and he tells him it’s his way of maintaining control.But the way he says this, it doesn’t sound like Colby really believes he IS in control.
What follows is another sequence back at Will Wikle‘s home which is quite telling. Levi Karter is still living there and it appears that his presence is having an effect on Will’s private order. As Levi makes himself more at home the physical space between him and Will vanishes. He begins touching and looking closely at a variety of Will’s personal belongings. And Will begins to see things slightly out of order…as well as looking at himself differently. We’re left with a WTF shocker cliffhanger that’s also a preview of what’s to come…in the form of Will’s sex scene.
As for this long-awaited sex scene with Colby Keller and Will Wikle there’s a big build-up to it here. As established in part one of The Stillest Hour their characters have a seemingly professional doctor-patient relationship. And for Colby it’s arguably more honest than the one he has with Levi Karter and more honest than the one Will’s character has with Levi. For all three their thin veneers of power and control crack and crumble as the story moves forward. We see that they are all damaged people.
As for the relationships portrayed here, it’s no wonder that The Stillest Hour is described as a “psychosexual thriller”. Power and control is the clear, evolving dynamic but so in the double-edged sword of intimacy and trust. In part two we see that Levi Karter as Patrick continues to be “involved” with Colby Keller as the artist…but on Colby’s terms. Although Colby has allows Levi into his artist’s loft…he’s still exerting control by assigning him chores, not really engaging him in conversation.
While Colby Keller gives Levi Karter a key (because he claims to trust him) he still doesn’t allow really him into the loft emotionally…at least at first. And he doesn’t let him in for sex…. Colby Keller takes him into a public restroom where it’s passionate and hot because of the danger factor (as was their sex on the staircase in part one). But as Colby keeps returning to tell Will about how this odd relationship is going we see that indeed Colby is being affected emotionally. By the way Colby Keller too is very convincing as the guy trying to act cool and in control but who gets driven to obsession..and loses control, almost panicked by it all.
Levi Karter‘s character is more unfathomable. On one hand he seems guileless, a kind of lost soul seeking companionship. Yet he is drawn to someone like Colby the artist who seems to shun affection and find pleasure in controlling this young man…arguably to the point of humiliation. And still Levi persists on trying to penetrate the wall. So, you’re left to wonder if Levi’s innocence is an act and if he’s really a manipulator and button pusher. Colby is driven to emotional outbursts over petty things like how Levi eats watermelon…and Levi knows how it affects Colby. And when their “relationship” hits a breaking point Levi finds a way, intentionally or not, to make Colby Keller question himself.
Ironically the healer in this drama, psychotherapist Will Wikle may be the most damaged of all three characters. As we continue to watch Colby Keller in his sessions with him it looks like Will is using Colby & Levi’s relationship troubles to work on his own troubles. Look at Will as he takes notes. He’s listening intently but is he REALLY writing or just miming it? Concurrently Levi Karter has also entered Will’s life. Like Colby, Will keeps Levi at an emotional and physical distance even. The difference is that Levi has moved in. Levi also tries to tries to crack Will’s well-guarded veneer in several ways. He pries into his belongings and life and asks questions rather than accepting the status quo.
Levi DOES get an unintended reaction from Will in the beginning of a stunning sequence that is both disturbing and revealing. And it may provide the answer to the enigma that’s hinted at throughout the whole of The Stillest Hour. In the middle of the night Levi invades Will’s bedroom, wakes him up and provokes uncharacteristic behavior from both of them. This is followed by a sexual encounter (of sorts) that may wig you out. It definitely symbolizes the power dynamic of this particular relationship which appears to have flipped …or has it? This requires courage on the part of these two performers Will Wikle and Levi do nt have easy roles to play but they step up and do it.
The aftermath of this scene is that Will Wikle‘s doctor character may have had a breakthrough… and soon after Colby Keller‘s character looks like he has one too, and it’s emotional. Will you have a breakthrough too? At the very least you’ll be questioning what and/or who is real here. When seemingly defeated Colby goes to see Will Wikle their professional relationship seems to be irrevocably shattered. We can’t tell you how this happens but the two characters finally come together.
The sex scene is hot no matter how you view it but taken out of context from what has transpired before it takes on a different meaning. The genuine passion and affection between Colby & Will as they kiss is clear as is the new(?) dynamic. After Will has been the person in control he is on his knees servicing Colby’s cock as the rugged stud talks dirty to him, tells him what to do, and gives approval.
Will Wikle‘s doctor character continues to let go as he lies over the ottoman and Colby Keller hungrily rims his beautiful hard bubble butt. The way Will emotes physically and vocally again tells us that he is bringing it all to the table for his entry into erotica. Colby eventually penetrates him triggering some wild uninhibited sex that takes place in a variety of positions… and they remain connected throughout You just had to know that considering the wait and the build-up this was not going to disappoint and it doesn’t.
This all leads to an explosive climax in which Will Wikle has a full body orgasm getting fucked on his back. We mean he puts his whole body into it and given his ripped and sculpted physique it’s a visual many viewers will be putting into their spank banks. And after Will shots over his torso Colby Keller steps up to the plate to delver a home run. He straddles Will and give him an impossibly thick facial ….very similar to the mind-blowing facial he gave Seth Santoro in a scene Cocky Boys uses on the front page. And Colby passionately kisses Will on his cream-soaked face.
And then there’s the epilogue which is hauntingly poignant. One of The Stillest Hour ‘s biggest mysteries is seemingly solved and other points of discussion are opened. It should come as no surprise that we think The Stillest Hour is one of the best releases of the year and that every person involved deserves high praise…Jake, Colby, Will & Levi along with superb cinematographer RJ Sebastian, talented editor Cilantro Che Guevara (who also providing the haunting music!), sex scene editor Karl Edwards and many others. Unforgettable.
Review by Tony, Jack Manly (www.jackmanly.com)