Comic-Con 2011: ABC's 'The River' Promises Scares, Not Gore (Video)

Mid-season drama about an Amazonian search and rescue is executive produced by "Paranormal Activity" director Oren Peli.
Bob D'Amico/ABC

Scary. That's what ABC's The River promises to be, and the panelists for the new series made sure to get that point across at Comic-Con on Friday.

Not gory, though, the show's producers were quick to point out at the Q&A that followed a screening of the pilot, to air mid-season.

"We want to reclaim the [horror] genre," executive producer Zack Estrin said. "A little less Saw, a little more Poltergeist."

Fellow EP Michael Green started off the panel by telling the audience that ABC told him, "Don't water it down. Really make it scary."

The River, also executive produced by Paranormal Activity writer/director Oren Peli, features the "real" footage of a documentary crew that travels to the Amazon River in search of Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood), a TV personality/environmentalist who has gone missing. Emmet's wife (Leslie Hope) and son (Joe Anderson) accompany the doc crew.

That family becomes central to the show. As Green told The Hollywood Reporter Friday, "In a weird way, it's more of a family show than people imagine that it would be. It's about these characters and this broken family coming together in an extreme environment."

He added, "If you watch a reality show, come on board. If you watch a family show, come on board. If you watch a horror show, come on board."

What gives the makers of the show the creeps?

Peli: "To me, it's usually fear of the unknown or the unexplained. Things that you don't necessarily see. Things that you can't understand or reason with."

Green: "Paranormal Activity scared the piss out of me. I had to turn off Paranormal Activity at about a minute, thirty-five [seconds]... I had to watch it in about five-minute increments after that."

Estrin: "One of the scariest things that I think of is actually silence. When you're somewhere and it's extremely quiet and [then] you hear noises, that scares me."

Eloise Mumford: "Creepy people. Not like 'muahahaha' killing people, just like off."

Anderson: "People creep me out. ... I was always a fan of The Shining. It's the people, it's the brain that worries me."

Hope: "The water! [Filming on a river for the show] was scary, but I'm going to get over it!"