7. The River
Stars: Bruce Greenwood, Daniel Zacapa, Joe Anderson, Thomas Kretschmann, Leslie Hope, Paul Blackthorne, Paulina Gaitan, Katie Featherston, Shaun Parkes
Premiere Date: February 7
Why we’re excited: The notion of a found-footage horror TV show doesn’t immediately give us much hope. As strong as films like Cloverfield, The Blair Witch Project, and [REC] are, one of the reasons why they work so well is each flick’s brief, to-the-point running time—why do you think there haven’t been any two-plus-hours horror movies of that type?
So you’d think that The River, ABC’s ambitious new supernatural/adventure/horror series, has been formulated by a disastrous recipe, with its eight hour-long episodes. Which is why we’ve been pleasantly surprised by all of the show’s positive early word, with several critics praising the premiere episode as one of television’s scariest hours in years. There’s definitely room for plenty of frights in The River’s premise, that of a documentary film crew heading into the Amazon to find a missing nature explorer/television host (Bruce Greenwood).
As for those earlier found-footage concerns, there’s one huge advantage in The River’s corner: The series was co-created by Oren Peli, the man solely responsible for the effectiveness of 2007’s horror smash Paranormal Activity. Could we have a new American Horror Story on our hands? Let’s hope so.