From Paranormal Activity to The River

Having seen a trailer for The River with a lot of “scary” footage, and reading some early positive reviews for the pilot, I have a lot of hope for the series.

Being a big horror fan, and also considering the fact I really dig 70’s TV horror like Kolchak, I’m certainly hoping this show will be a new breakthrough for the genre on television.

As I’m sure you’re aware, The River was created by Oren Peli, the very same person who gave us Paranormal Activity, and as he told Collider, “It actually started with an idea for a movie.” Then he met up with Steven Spielberg, who told him, “Hey we should do a TV show together.”

The writer of Paranormal Activity 2, once he heard the idea for The River, also asked: “Why waste that on one movie? You can turn it into a whole TV show and, every episode, they get into another adventure.”


“I had no experience in movies, really, before Paranormal Activity,” Peli said. “And I didn’t know anything about TV, so it was a learning process for me to figure out how things are done.” 

Because Paranormal Activity was made for peanuts, Peli told The Hollywood Reporter, “The pilot was more expensive than any movie that I’ve been involved in.”

Peli also promises, “Every week, we have a very exciting scare-of-the-week,” and like Paranormal Activity, it’s leaving a lot up to your imagination, and not just because he’s working on TV, which is much more restrictive. 

“Our overall philosophy is that we don’t want to have to rely on gory images to create a scare,” Peli continued. “If we’ve done that, then we’ve failed. My philosophy is always that the scariest moment at the dentist is the moment before you get the shot. The shot itself is not what hurts. It’s just sitting there, waiting for that moment.”