The Moya View

River Wild: A Feral Thriller

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Storyline via Wikipedia;

Estranged brother and sister Gray and Joey, embark on a whitewater rafting trip amongst tourists with their childhood friend named Trevor. Along the river, the events quickly turn from exciting to terrifying, as the group finds themselves trapped alongside a killer who is intent to sabotage the trip while keeping secrets from the past from being revealed. Joey must overcome her fears and work with her brother Gary to survive to the end of the river, before it’s too late.


Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

If you’ve seen the 1994 Meryl Streep thriller The River Wild, put that out of your mind if you decide to watch the mild reboot River Wild, on Netflix. The only thing these two movies have in common is the Dennis O’Neil source novel. The Streep movie was a Hitchcock lite thriller that is well remembered. The Netflix version is neither sequel nor remake. It stars Leighton Meester and is a pretty dark white water rafting trip involving sibling rivalry turned mad and murderous.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

The Streep version was about family protection. The Netflix one is about misguided loyalties and family destruction. The Streep perfectly fits the big screen- the other suits the small.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

River Wild’s family dynamics are grim. This is more close to Friday the 13th. The villain (Adam Brody) wears tattoos instead of a hockey mask. Those who follow horror movies can easily guess who will be the last man or woman standing.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

River Wild dredges up all kinds of emotions between the formerly estranged siblings. The plot device that sets the dynamics in motion is rather clumsily handled. Yet, when it does get going, the tight direction and generally good acting, makes the sinister intensity believable. It becomes a somber study of mistakes, secrets and self preservation, getting more feral as it collapses from its humanity.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

River Wild gets a 3.5 out of 5 or a B+.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment


Directed by

Ben Ketai

Written by

Based on

The River Wild

by Denis O’Neill

Produced by



Gevorg Gev Juguryan

Edited by

Ben Callahan

Music by

Tristan Clopet



Distributed by

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Release date

  • August 1, 2023


United States



Universal Pictures Home Entertainment





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