February 07, 2012 12:43pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'The River' Premiere Lays Out Scares Familiar and Foreign to the Amazon (Video)
For viewers who've only gleaned quick camera movements and screams from the early previews of The River, ABC wants them to know there's more at play in the spooky series from Paranormal Activity creator Oren Peli.
Behind the ominous found footage is the central dilemma of a group searching the Amazon for missing television host Dr. Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood). Obstacles include traditional Amazonian folklore and unexpected twists like a graveyard of demonic toys.
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ABC has released a featurette, timed to Tuesday's two-hour premiere of the series. And in addition to laying out the backstory for the Steven Spielberg-produced drama, Peli explains what kind of horror to expect.
"One of the things that I learned for Paranormal Activity was that the kind of scares that sometimes can be very effective on people are not so much the scares of shocking someone with a gory image," explains Peli, "but more the anticipation leading up to the scare."
The River isn't just about anticipation, though. The preview does include some of the more frightening, if not exactly gory, imagery on display in the series.
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"We asked ABC how scary we could go with the show," says Peli. "They said, 'go as scary as you want.'"
Cue the night vision shot of a dirty doll head opening its eyes.