Friday, July 16, 2021

River Review: A Mystery That Never Quite Feels Solved

Release date: July 16, 2021
Running time: 91 minutes
Written and Directed By: Emily Skye
Starring: Courtney Gains, Mary Cameron Rogers, Becki Hayes, Rob Marshall, Alexandra Rose

River is a psychological sci-fi thriller, that follows River Allen, a 20-something woman who searches for her fragmented identity. After her mother's death, River has spiraled emotionally out of control. When she disappears for over a week, with no recollection of how she returned home, River loses all sense of self and purpose. Disturbing, nightmarish images haunt her mind. She believes that she has lost her grip on reality, which she believes is due to her grieving for her departed mother. But a darker, undiscovered secret taunts her. River's best friend, Amanda Banks, guides her on a self-discovery journey to find the truth. However, River soon discovers that Amanda conceals her own frightening secrets. Faced with her shattered psyche, River fights for her sanity that is tormented by nightmares that have originated from the surrounding forest. Will she uncover the disturbing truth that could save her, or will she slip deeper into insanity?

River gets a lot right especially at the start of it.  The camera work is absolutely beuatiufl to show an idyllic town and the North Carolina wilderness.  The movie showcases the trees and beauty of nature with smart angles and some sweeping drone shots.  And the movie has a slwo start, but that is fine given the focus on nature.  And this is all accompanied by some wonderful music and use of light.  Everything is put in place to evoke a dream like, otherworldly yet familiar feel; and it is a place that you could get lost in.  

However, the film has a lot of elements that detract from the overall movie.  The writing is hit or miss, with some good lines and some predictable ones.  Some of the writing feels corny or too emotional, and it often is delivered with inconsistent performances.  It's not all bad, there is some emotional content and interesting delivery, but overall it is just too inconsistent to get lost in the story.  Some characters emphasize unnaturally or jump to emotional statements too quickly.  And the story itself is a confusing one.  It tries to keep the story a mystery but it ended up just causing me to lose interest in the film.  Some mystery is good to peak interest, but the film really holds it close to the vest until the end.  And this ultimately resulted in me just not having much interest in the mystery or the drama.  Finally, when the mystery is finally revealed, the ultimate conclusion just didn't seem worth the build up.  Although it did have a good use of special effects when it did, it was too quickly revealed and over too soon. 

River's beautiful cinematography and music will draw you in, but the slow pace and the obfuscation of the story might make you lose interest before the big reveal.

Pass on it.

If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
River is available digitally and on demand on July 16, 2021.  

For additional information about the film and to rent / buy it, check it out at the links below.

This site contains affiliate links. //Commerce or this site may be compensated when you click through links on our site.  

No comments:

Post a Comment