The River-Episode Eight-The Final Episode.
“ROW, ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT”
Yep. I’m watching two episodes in a row.
Some notes and dialogue on first watching.
“Very few people are as lucky as we are,”
“to see the Boiuna, and come back..”
So then it all gets rather good. And a bit Agatha Christie on us.
So lots happening really.
“Help us that we may keep your secrets”!
I don’t even want to write the name.
Odd things are happening. and that’s an understatement.
Everything can’t be this easy can it.
AJ to Clarke:
“But I think your story is more interesting..”
So this scene is almost funny. But not quite.
That’s a good idea. A bit like catching spiders.
That’s a good one. It was spelt like that.
“Row, row, row your boat,”
“gently down the stream..”
This is almost funny.
I have actually chuckled at one point.
Kurt is super-cool.
Is it over yet. Can we have a happy ending.
“The bend is just two kilometres up there”..
So you won’t believe the ending.
The River-Final Review.
So I was quite sad that The River ended. And in the way it did. Especially as I hear that the series was cancelled. We will never know.
Those rather likeable characters will be forever marooned now, in my imagination. If you can be marooned in imagination. Not quite ended but ended.
Perhaps dramatically even artistically speaking this oh so cruel way of ending for the series is all for the best. Less is more after all. The story could be said to be more stylishly formed and experienced this way.
The River is a horror story after all. First and foremost. This is the way a horror story is told. There is no sequel. Like a story round a camp-fire.
The drama is also a character study: of all the people in the story. The characters too-had stories to tell. Unconsciously through their actions and stories elicited from the gentle prodding of Clarke, the film crew producer.
They were all excellently portrayed characters I felt, with interesting and affecting performances. Each one.
I would like to give a special mention to the cinematographic effects. Not even counting the horror effects yet. Which we should. Being fairly spectacular really. Overall.
My favourite scene there would be the dangling dolls. And the classic horror set-up of the plague of insects crowding in suffocatingly: while a small hand creeps tentatively out of a sliver of window in order to retrieve a precious phone.
My particular favourite filmic effect was the ongoing shifting of scenes in the ship: awash in pale peach sepia light. These (scenes) as mentioned in the notes were taken by the film crew’s cameras. Throughout the ship.
So we are often watching the story unfold, in a kind of (old ) negative tinted forever shifting, sinister world. Accompanied by the action in real time. As experienced by the characters being filmed. From their point of view. Including the arch-mixer of video tapes himself- Clarke. As he sits watching the surveillance cameras. And so on.
There are stories with stories upon story. With the main protagonist throughout of that whole story: mostly unseen. His presence first only spoken of in words and old film. The puzzle pieced together by pieces of film itself. And so on. Much like the river.
It’s strange to see for me, that The River seems resistant to description. When there is so very much to see. I sometimes find this effect when a drama seems sufficient unto itself. And only needs the watching to explain.
I could describe The River as full blooded old fashioned horror. Like Ridley’s Tales of The Unexpected met Hitchock’s half hour. Or were they one and the same. Throw in every horror movie known to man. And then some.
The River is brave, creative, suspenseful and deeply creepy. With every kind of spell-making or witch- ified shenanigans to boot. There are spirits of every kind and monsters yet unheard of or described. All of these things for starters.
The River was unusual, different and fresh. John Wayne’s donkeys and dark memories of quicksand aside: nobody has done any drama like this for quite some time I suggest. It packed an emotional, a (heart racing) physical and a wonderfully visual punch. Quite a creation all round.
One episode’s story reminded me of a Stephen King book.
Sadly, as mentioned: The River has been cancelled. However when I found out there was only eight episodes I was secretly relieved. Just because I found The River to be so terribly and successfully- horrific.