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The River TV Show Pilot Review

Pilot Scoop: The River

ABC is bringing a little bit of the horror genre to primetime with new series The River, which premieres tonight. In the show, created by Paranormal Activity's Oren Peli, a team of people goes on a rescue mission on the Amazon, but they find a lot more than they bargained for while on their expedition. It could be the next good TV mystery to get sucked into, so if you're interested, check out my thoughts on the pilot below.

  • What it's about: A famous TV adventure series host, Dr. Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood), goes missing and is presumed dead while he's exploring the Amazon. His estranged wife and grown son refuse to give up, so they go to the site of his last trip, the creepy, jungle-lined Amazon, to see if they can find him. A documentary crew comes with them, and together they discover terrifying supernatural events aboard the boat.
  • Where it works: There are genuine scares in the pilot, especially because the mystery seems to be rooted in chilling cultural folklore. And if you crave jump scares weekly, this may be the show for you.
  • Where it doesn't: None of the main characters is particularly compelling, even though they each hint at enigmatic backstories for themselves. Also, the signature found-footage camera work may turn into a headache for some viewers.
  • When it's on: Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on ABC, starting Feb. 7
  • You might like this show if: You really miss Lost and love the Paranormal Activity movies.

To watch a preview and see some photos from The River, just keep reading


Daniel Zacapa, Thomas Kretschmann, Paulina Gaitan, and Paul Blackstone in The River.
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<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Thomas Kretschmann in The River.
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<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Joe Anderson in The River.
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Paulina Gaitan and Daniel Zacapa in The River.
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Joe Anderson in The River.
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Thomas Kretschmann in The River. 
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Daniel Zacapa in The River.
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Shaun Parkes, Leslie Hope, Paul Blackthorne, and Thomas Kretschmann in The River.
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Thomas Kretschmann and Joe Anderson in The River.
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Paul Blackthorne in The River.
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Thomas Kretschmann and Joe Anderson in The River.
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Shaun Parkes in The River.
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Thomas Kretschmann, Paul Blackthorne, Leslie Hope, and Shaun Parkes in The River.
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Thomas Kretschmann and Daniel Zacapa in The River. 
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Bruce Greenwood in The River.
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Bruce Greenwood in The River.
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Paul Blackthorne, Eloise Mumford, Joe Anderson, and Leslie Hope in The River.
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Eloise Mumford and Joe Anderson in The River.
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Leslie Hope and Eloise Mumford in The River.
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Leslie Hope in The River.
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Joe Anderson and Eloise Mumford in The River.
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Eloise Mumford in The River. 
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Leslie Hope in The River.
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Leslie Hope and Joe Anderson in The River. 
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Joe Anderson, Paulina Gaitan, and Paul Blackthorne in The River. 
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Paul Blackthorne in The River. 
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Daniel Zacapa and Thomas Kretschmann in The River. 
</p>
<p>Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Photos copyright 2012 ABC, Inc.

Around The Web
Join The Conversation
Brady2405177 Brady2405177 4 years
what kind of dog is that?
Chaos2013 Chaos2013 4 years
watched all the river shows. It is different only thing I did not like lost to much l unexplained. Just ok thats the way it is on with the show. A bit of the same with the RIver. Could have a better plot for each show. But it is all about Magic so that explains that you have to accept what happens. Like lost they seem to be stumped with a plot so just make it up as we go along. Each episode seems to be a story in its own with a basic plot. Makes it easy to not have to remember what happened last week. So for me I like the show. so far.
Eric2294566 Eric2294566 4 years
what the hell is everyone`s issue? give the show a chance it just aired!! oh well we have opinions like assholes...
ReLayer ReLayer 4 years
Horrid crummy fell asleep not eve close to lost
Christina2291640 Christina2291640 4 years
I thought this was going to be a GREAT show about some creature in the Amazon not detected yet. Boy was I disappointed!! It is too unbelievable and the music makes the dramatics in the show but the GHOST EVIL creature SUX! I think the previews were better than the actual show. " Rotten Tomatoes D- "
dazee dazee 4 years
Agreed!! This was waaaaaay stupid. If you want to see the original "Doll Island" which is in fact a real place, check out Destination Truth on SYFY. They had a truly scary episode where they investigated the island. This was nothing more than a ridiculous rip-off of that show! I guess good ole Hollywood (Spielberg) is fresh out of new ideas for thrillers since they just keep shooting the same old stuff our way.
dunkinhinds dunkinhinds 4 years
WOW! What a stupid show, unless you're 13 years old. The vignettes were crazy. Spielberg trying to make dumb, ridiculous scene ideas scary. Hope they have the biggest, baddest, meanest batteries for their flash lights because they'll need them for eight weeks! What a waste of two hours!
Saul-Selyp Saul-Selyp 4 years
where are they going to get the gas for the boat?
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