THE PLOT THUS FAR
Embark on a thrilling journey as Oren Peli, director of Paranormal Activity, and Executive Producer Steven Spielberg, bring chilling legend and lore to life. Paranormal thriller The River follows the story of world famous wildlife expert and TV personality Dr. Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood), host of the beloved series The Undiscovered Country. After Cole goes missing deep in the Amazon, his family, friends, and crew set out on a haunting and treacherous adventure to find him. Led by his wife, Tess (Leslie Hope), and estranged son, Lincoln (Joe Anderson), the rescue mission will lead them deep into the unexplored regions on the Amazon River. A place where nature is cruel, magic is real, and nothing is what it seems. Uncover the ancient secrets of the Bouina in the heart-pounding first season of ABC’s The River, and dive even deeper into the mystery with never-before-seen bonus features. The shocking truth is waiting to be discovered. If you dare…
WHAT WE THOUGHT
The host of a popular nature documentary show, Dr Emmett Cole, has gone missing in the Amazon along with his cameraman and some other crew members on his boat “The Magus”. Six months later, a beacon or some kind of GPS goes off and Cole’s wife convinces her estranged son to come with her to look for him. Along with them comes the show’s producer, a shady “bodygaurd” with an arsenal, the boat’s pilot and his teenage daughter, and some new camera people crew and and together they, well I don’t think sail is the word but take off on their own boats down the Amazon river. Throughout the show we get some back story and some flashbacks about the Coles, and warnings from the daughter of the pilot.
“The River” fails because it wants to mix the Oren Peli style with reality TV tropes and a dose of healthy horror. The end result is a mess that would’ve been best reserved for a focused mini-series in the off months. Bruce Greenwood makes the most of his time on camera, however everyone else feels like they are playing catch-up. The show is constantly trying to step into familiar Oren Peli territory, but nobody advances past cheap scares and weird shit for the sake of weird shit. There’s no sense of atmosphere, but a creepy shared aesthetic that makes people spazz out on cue.
The DVD comes with commentaries, deleted scenes and a featurette. The A/V Quality is pretty sharp with a Dolby 5.1 track that blows away a lot of major films. However, the transfer is rather muddy and falls apart when held against the shooting aesthetic. In a few words, it looks Paul Greengrass wiped his ass on the camera and then they shot the show with it. In the end, I’d only recommend a purchase to fans of the show.
RELEASE DATE: 05/29/2012