• Network: ABC
  • Series Premiere Date: Feb 7, 2012
  • Season #: 1

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Feb 7, 2012
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Feb 3, 2012
    The scares are not as over-the-top as American Horror Story but more chilling because they're applied glancingly. [13 Feb 2012, p.44]
  3. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Feb 6, 2012
    The series' embrace of its narrative style, its creation of such an ominous world and its skill for generating suspense practically out of thin air are all very impressive.
  4. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Apr 13, 2012
    The performances are good but constrained by the parameters of scary-story acting.
  5. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Feb 7, 2012
    An exciting and scary trip.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 90 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 39
  2. Negative: 15 out of 39
  1. Feb 8, 2012
    Couldn't watch more than 30 minutes of this show before I got bored, acting was mediocre, story line was even worse. I watched toward the end of the 2 hr premiere to see if it got better, it didn't. This is awful. I don't understand the difference of ratings between the users and the critics...maybe the critics are afraid of Spielberg. Full Review »
  2. Feb 8, 2012
    One of the worst premiers I've seen lately. The Blair Witch style camera-work is pushed to an extreme, often being very difficult to watch. Every time something interesting happens, the camera is dropped and you get to watch shadows running around. The audio is very muffled, the actors mumble, and there are so many *thick* British and Austrailian accents it's almost unwatchable without subtitles. Further - No one speaks Portuguese! Even deep in the Amazon - All of the foreign parts are in Spanish. Pathetic.

    Episode 2 had an interesting storyline, but most of the dialog is missed due to the horrible audio. None of the characters are very compelling, and it's almost laughable how easily (2 minute conversation?) everyone just believes everything odd happening around them is due to "magic". Another floater that won't make it past one season.
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 8, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. I'd have to say it is not what I expected. I actually fell asleep towards the end of both episodes but tried to stay awake hoping it would get better. The way the characters acted after each encounter with a supernatural entity was like "oh, we just lost a cameraman to a ghost, let's push on, I see ghosts everyday". There was no real fear in any of the people like there is in paranormal activity, which made that movie truly frightening. With paranormal activity, the actors were truly stressed and frightened and freaking out after encountering a ghost, and the audience felt their anxiety. Nope, not with the cast in the River. It was like, hey, my mom just got sucked into a river and then emerged from the ground at a grave site, lets just pretend that didn't happen and film us a good t.v. show!........ridiculous. Full Review »