Historically, I’ve not been a fan of scary things – I haven’t seen a single Halloween or Friday the 13th.  I don’t see movies like Paranormal Activity because I have a mind susceptible to convincing that ghost and things are haunting my house.  I couldn’t make it through AMERICAN HORROR STORY’s pilot because something in me was just creeped out beyond belief.

That all started to slowly change, however, as I sat down to watch the first two episodes of ABC’s THE RIVER, airing tonight on ABC from 9-11/8-10c (next week, it airs at 9/8, and BODY OF PROOF returns).  While I won’t say I’m going to go rent co-creator Oren Peli’s Paranormal Activity films, I did find myself sitting on the edge of my seat, holding my breath, and jump-gasping often enough to have me hooked for the ride.

THE RIVER tells us the story of Tess (Leslie Hope – over the top here, in the best way) and her semi-estranged son Lincoln (Joe Anderson), looking for her missing (presumed dead) husband, Emmett Cole (Bruce Greenwood), an explorer-TV-host whose emergency beacon was found on his ship, on a river, scratch that, on THE RIVER, in a scary, scary part of the world. With camera crews following their every move (lead by Emmett’s ex-producer Clark Quietly – Paul Blackthorne), they set out to find out what exactly happened to dear old dad, who, by all accounts, seems like he wasn’t that great of a guy, and if I’m not mistaken, I think he had a secret affair (pure conjecture here) with Eloise Mumford’s Lena (whose cameraman father is missing, too). Still with me?

In the first two hours (of their 8), the show covers haunted boats and rivers, stalled engines and scary ghost like creatures, plus a immensely freaky tree of dolls who may or may not be “alive” and one of the creepiest games of Marco Polo I’ve ever witnessed. It was exciting, scary, and fresh all at the same time, and is definitely a show that needs watching!

THE RIVER premieres tonight on ABC – check out for more information!  Will you be watching?