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The River: The Complete First Season - 2-Disc DVD
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
The River is basically ‘Lost’ meets ‘The Blair Witch Project’ with a dash of ‘Paranormal Activity’ thrown in. If shaky handheld footage makes you nauseous you might want to skip this one altogether. But if you’re a fan of the “found footage” genre there are definitely a few scares in the pilot and subsequent episodes of the series. Unfortunately, the show begins to veer into too many directions as it progresses and it soon becomes apparent that every episode is going to offer up a different supernatural element that will be resolved by the end of that episode. This leads to a sort of predictability that takes the scare factor down quite a few notches.
For viewers wondering if it’s worth the time investing in the series’ first (and only) season, you can rest assured that the series comes to a close with a somewhat satisfying resolution. Although there is a cliffhanger in the final episode, it’s the type of twist that most horror fans will be accustomed to as many horror flicks over the years have ended with similar sorts of open-ended nonsense.
The River arrives on DVD in a 2-disc set with solid video & audio and a handful of special features.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The idea behind "The River" is a good one. Bruce Greenwood plays a popular TV naturist who disappears while on an expedition in the Brazilian wilds. He and his crew are presumed dead. His wife (Leslie Hope) and estranged son (Joe Anderson) put together another documentary crew in an effort to find, and hopefully rescue, the missing men. Trying to piece together what happened through found footage, this new team faces increasingly strange and deadly obstacles the deeper they go. And it becomes abundantly clear that this voyage will have a body count as they seem to be pursuing a location known ominously as the Source. Will it hold the answers they desire? Is Greenwood alive? And will all the random horror elements be pulled together to make sense within a greater plot overview?
Setting: For me, the best thing about "The River" is its unusual premise. ABC was so quick to try to brand this the next "Lost" that it overlooked that the two shows have very little common ground. The unexplored jungles and the claustrophobic confines of the river boat lend an unusual backdrop to the unfolding drama. Also, it just looks great.
Style: While the found footage genre has been a bit overworked since the "Blair Witch Project" confirmed its commercial viability, it is effective and different to see it employed in series television. As the horrors are unraveled through quick and random camera shots (either through the crew cameramen or through stationary cameras on the ship), the quick glimpses of danger can make things quite unsettling.
Poor Research: For a show that takes place in Brazil, someone might have noted that they speak Portuguese there as opposed to Spanish. Conveniently, everyone they meet on this jungle excursion into Brazil speaks English or Spanish so don't worry about language barriers!
Ambient Sound: When strange things are happening, the program ramps up the sound effects and music to overwhelming proportions. Call me crazy, but I'd rather the dialogue was louder than the lapping of waves while characters in the river are conversing.
Rushed Beginning: The show takes but a few minutes to establish the characters before setting them adrift. It takes a while before we know anyone, much less care about them, and this lessens the impact of the earlier episodes. Stick around, though, things get better.
Horrors: The show aims for creepy more than scary, and that it achieves. Network TV is not a great place for in-your-face monstrosities, and within those limitations, the format does a good job providing some jolts. But our crew experiences such a diverse collection of nightmares, it seems like the creators just wanted to throw everything but the kitchen sink at us and see what stuck. Monsters, possessions, spirits, curses, natives: the mysterious and mystical horrors encompass just about everything you can think of. It's almost too much. And, of course, the mechanic's daughter is the requisite character that seems to know ANYTHING and EVERYTHING about these supernatural occurrences so that they can be "logically" explained to the TV audience.
Hit or Miss Ending: The 7th episode explains Greenwood's fate, but raises more questions than it answers. The screenplay and the characters are content to let most things go down without much contemplation. I did, however, like the finale's (8th episode) turn of events before the take-it-or-leave-it final scene.
I know people that both love "The River" and hate it. I can fully understand either position. But taken for what it is, it provides something different on television and that is an invaluable commodity in the land of cookie-cutter TV. At eight episodes, it isn't a huge time commitment and I was pleased enough to go along for the ride. I don't know that ten years from now that I'll be remembering the show as a classic, but for the moment--it was something that I enjoyed and would recommend for the right audience. About 3 1/2 stars. KGHarris, 3/12.
Produced by Orin Peli and Steven Spielberg, The River is a terrifying and imaginative drama that goes outside the box. With the recent hits of the "found-footage" sub-genre in horror, ABC brought in a TV show with the same formula of filming, but with a cast, plot and visuals that are delivered spectacularly. Joe Anderson was great as Lincoln Cole, the son of Emmett, but it was Thomas Kretschmann who stole the show as Kurt, the mysterious bodyguard who protects the crew as they traverse the Boiuna. Sadly, for some stupidly annoying reason, the network decided to can the series (like a lot of phenomenal shows including Firefly, Daybreak, and Invasion). With a season of only 8 episodes, the writers were able to create something extraordinary, but leave a great many questions unanswered as the show was canceled. Like Lost, The River takes us to a place we know nothing about, and the rules of reality are broken. This show isn't for everyone, but anyone who appreciates thrillers, mystery, sci-fi/fantasy and supernatural dramas, this show is perfect. Hopefully, someone gets a campaign started to bring the show back for one more season because there is still plenty of room to answer and bring to light questions and answers. Kickstarter right now is doing well with bringing back TV shows, so let's get The River back for at least one more season of 13-14 episodes.
With the first episode throwing you into the story, it's hard to warm up to the series, but by episode 3 I was hooked.
The characters, though some may call cliche, all had their own unique personality and added different dimensions to the story.
What really sold me on the series is the "mockumentary-style" that it is shot. I eat this stuff up so badly. With movies like Cloverfield and Quarantine being two of my all-time horror favourites, this was a complete treat for me.
At times the work seems derivative of others. One episode seems inspired by Quarantine and 28 Days Later, another seems inspired by the Exorcist, another inspired by the Blair Witch Project. For me, it was not bothersome. The River still felt entirely original whether or not I could see other movie references and inspiration within it.
If you're a fan of horror and suspense or even of the "mockumentary-style", definitely check out this television series.
I wish they would continue with the series and make a second season, but something tells me that is not going to happen.
It's not everyone's cup of tea, but if it is, you will definitely want to refill your cup over and over again with The River.