Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Peek Through the Hatch: ABC's Horror Series The River

You’d think with all the paranormal reality shows on TV and with the popularity of “found footage” horror films holding strong – Paranormal Activity 3 is scheduled for release this October and a creepy looking flick about a TV paranormal investigation crew called Grave Encounters is set to hit on demand on August 25th – that we'd have a decent found footage horror show. That's set to change soon, with ABC teasing us with a horror series call The River, executive produced by Stephen Spielberg and Paranormal Activity's Oren Peli. From Wikipedia:

"The series will follow the search for a famous television host, a popular explorer/wildlife expert who was last seen traveling down the Amazon River in the middle of South America and disappeared without a trace. Six months later, his wife and son receive a beacon signal from him, indicating that he might be alive. This prompts the two to assemble a television documentary crew to follow his last known whereabouts, unaware that once they reach the location of where he was last seen that they're in for a horrific surprise."

Intrigued? Check out the trailer:

I'm really hoping for more horror than Lost style mystery, but I got whiffs of both from the trailer (whatever that ghost/monster is should look familiar to Lost fans). While I've got nothing against Lost, it just seems like we've gotten a slew of copycat shows recently that were merely trying to cash in on it. I'm thinking of sci-fi shows with a big overarching story or mystery, stuff like Flash Forward and The Event (both of those were canceled, by the way).

I’ve watched Syfy’s Ghost Hunters quite a bit, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought that a completely fictional version would be an awesome and creepy show to watch every week. The home video/found footage style, which The River seems to utilize, has the potential to be nerve-wracking.

Bruce Greenwood of Meek's Cutoff and the newest Star Trek as the explorer should be cool, but I wonder how much of him we’ll see. Spielberg’s involvement is almost always a good thing, and hopefully Oren Peli’s influence will provide the level of creepiness I’m wishing for. When I first heard of the show and little of the plot was known, other than it was about a man that gets lost exploring a river, I was picturing something more like a spooky river in the American backwoods. But I guess the Amazon will do. The River will premier on ABC in the 2011-2012 mid season, which I guess means sometime between January and May. I can see myself getting really excited for it. Learn more over at the show's official site.

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