Spielberg's 'The River' Spooks Critics In Season Opener
The Steven Spielberg produced supernatural offering 'The River' premiered on Abc on Tuesday (February 7, 2012), with critics generally impressed by the spooky drama, co-created by Paranormal Activity's Oren Peli.
The series follows famed explorer Dr Emmet Cole, played by Bruce Greenwood, who went looking for magic in the uncharted Amazon rainforest but never returned. The truth about his disappearance still evades the millions of kids who grew up watching his show, including his son Lincoln. Six months after his vanished, Dr Cole's son decides to finally discover what happened to his father, and when the explorer's emergency beacon goes off, he sets off on an adventure. Given the recent spate of supernatural thrillers, it was unclear how The River would go down with critics, but reception has been mainly positive, with People's Tom Gliatto saying, "The scares are not as over-the-top as American Horror Story but more chilling because they're applied glancingly". TV Guide's Matt Roush was even more complimentary, saying, "The River is a terrifying heart-stopper, a cleverly cinematic supernatural adventure that takes us on a wild ride into an exotic heart of darkness". However, not all reviews have been as positive, and The Huffington Post's Maureen Ryan suggested Abc are still trying desperately to replace one of their most recent success stories, saying, "The River isn't terrible, and it actually has some effective elements, but it's fairly indicative of Abc's post-"Lost" flailing".
The next episode of The River airs on Abc on February 14, 2012. In September 2010, the network won a bidding war against Nbc to secure the rights to the project.