Across The River

 (135)5.61 h 31 min201613+
The story revolves around an ethologist working in the remote woods, trapping animals and mounting cameras on them so that he can monitor their behavior remotely. The resulting recordings lead him to a remote village, the site of an ancient curse, where he is trapped due to heavy rain fall raising the level of the river and flooding out the only access...
Lorenzo Bianchini
Renzo GariupMarco MarcheseLidia Zabrieszach
English [CC]
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Shami Media Group
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3.7 out of 5 stars

135 global ratings

  1. 37% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 28% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 14% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 10% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 12% of reviews have 1 stars

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Top reviews from the United States

MichaelReviewed in the United States on November 12, 2016
5.0 out of 5 starsOn its own terms, this film is a masterpiece.
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Across the River is, as the comments so far attest, not for everyone's taste. A viewer who watches it expecting a horror movie or supernatural thriller sort of like anything else they've ever seen will likely be disappointed and probably bored and maybe confused. Approached on its own terms, viewed for what it is and what its makers seemed to be trying to do, Across the River is pretty amazing. I watch a lot of movies in this genre and rarely make it more than 1/3 of the way through them because they're so dreadful technically, with unconvincing active, stupid scripts, cheap jump scares, inappropriate or ineffective music, and so on. Across the River is the first movie that has genuinely creeped me out since Robert Wise's The Haunting. This is a mood piece: its plot and characterization are minimal (to say the least). It has a backstory for its main character and (I think) for the events that transpire, but the movie provides only hints; it doesn't bludgeon us over the head with that information. Best of all, it assumes the audience is smart. Because it's a mood piece, though, it must take its time to be effective. That's where this movie shines. If you go with it, it will lure you into the all-important setting so totally that when strange things begin to happen they are genuinely creepy. Check out how the color palette changes as we move from the natural surroundings where the movie starts into the abandoned village where the rest of the movie occurs. This film is a fascinating example of how to tell a rich, emotion laden story that even has some ideas with almost zero dialog: that's what film can do. It can tell a story through images and sound and (brilliantly here) editing. So this isn't for everybody, and if it's not for you you'll rightly feel you're wasting your time. But if you're willing to go with this kind of film, I think you'll love it. I just hope someone releases it on DVD of Blu-Ray, as I'm going to want to watch this many times, long after it's vanished from Amazon Prime.
25 people found this helpful
W.T.HoffmanReviewed in the United States on April 16, 2018
4.0 out of 5 starsAMBIENT HORROR ... EERIE VIBES
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Across the River is a very atmospheric horror film, with very little dialogue, character development, or even plot. The Italian film, in Italian and Slovakian, concerns a small abandoned village, up in the alps, near the Italian Slovakian border. A ranger is tracking wild boar, and during a rain storm, forges a small stream in his van, and arrives at the haunted village. Meanwhile, after a day or two, Italian rescue workers go to the woods to find him. At the village, he sort of snoops around, gets rained on constantly, hears noises, investigates, gets drunk, sleeps, has visions, and builds traps, to catch the apex predator who was attacking and killing the wild boars. The B story, is a slovakian man who was born in that village, contacts authorities to reveal to them the shocking truth about why the village was abandoned 70 years ago.

Obviously this is an independent, art house type horror film. Almost nothing is spoken between people, during the film. Mostly its ominous sound effects, eerie ambient score, and very deep bass drones, all meant to produce a feeling of uneasiness in people watching the film. Since there is very little plot (Man gets lost. Man discovers horror secret. Rescuers search for the man. Horror ensues for all involved.) there is very little to say about the pacing. Its glacial. I suppose you feel for the main character, although we know nothing about him. Nobody has names. The old man born in the village, has a wife. That's it. This movie is about a place, and about people trapped in that place. So the REAL STAR of the movie, is this old abandoned stone village, up in the alps. The whole film, is that village. So if you're in the mood for an ambient horror film, which just builds from mudane, to unsettling, to eerie, to scary over the course of 90 minutes, you should avoid this film. However, if ambient horror is something you find inviting, then ACROSS THE RIVER is worth the time.
8 people found this helpful
Groovy TaterbugReviewed in the United States on December 28, 2016
4.0 out of 5 starsLike I mentioned
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Ok, ok, this one will give your shivers. Slow moving, but will have you on the edge of your seat. You'll have to turn on your English subtitles as the film is in Italian, but, there isn't a paragraph of dialogue during the entire movie. You won't notice that much and it won't deter from the film. Like I mentioned, it is slow going, but the creep factor is 100%. If you like gore, fast action, creatures, then this isn't for you. The movie keeps you entranced due to the mystery of the abandoned village, and glimpses of two ghostly figures that are responsible for some savagery on the local animals of the woods. I'm glad I watched it, quite a bit different from the normal blood and guts horror around these days.
7 people found this helpful
Tim F. MartinReviewed in the United States on September 9, 2019
4.0 out of 5 starsSlow burning, moody, atmospheric, arty horror film
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This was a dark, moody, atmospheric film, not one with a strong plot-driven narrative, but rather one about creating an eerie mood, of transporting viewers to a haunted place, easing them into a setting that goes from desolate to slightly creepy to unnerving to outright frightening to horrific, all with some pretty minimal dialogue and just the barest amounts of exposition. The film is an Italian-Slovenian production and has subtitles but for long stretches of the film no one speaks, the sounds that of the environment, of the rushing of a nearby river, the fall of rain, the constant dripping of water inside the buildings of an abandoned village, and the occasional scream in the night.

The story focuses on two people, maybe 90% on one character, the main one, a wildlife biologist who in his RV is in a remote, mountainous, wooded area using camera traps and computers to monitor local wildlife, primarily foxes, deer, and wild boar. His investigations take him across a rushing river, one he sees he soon can’t cross back over due to heavy rains that hit the area, and into an abandoned village with lots of evidence something is eating large meals of the local fauna. It is a bear or a wolf? Or something else? His camera traps start to see strange things, people out in the woods at night, but are these people just wandering the forest (in complete darkness, with no torches or flashlights or lanterns) or are they something else?

The biologist doesn’t worry at first, but the longer he spends in the abandoned village the more he finds to worry about. And of course, that’s when the horror starts and soon enough, he can’t leave.

The other character we only get a few times, an older gentleman (in his 80s maybe?) who with his wife live somewhere locally but not near the ruins of the village. They, or he, know something about why the village is abandoned and he becomes involved when local authorities start to look for the biologist, who is missing and overdue to be heard from.

I liked the eerie setting, the slow build up of the horror, and when it first clearly crossed over into horror it was outright chilling. The ending was a bit ambiguous at times but it fit the style of the film. A few things could have been better explained, making me think the film wasn’t purely about a physical horror but had ghostly or supernatural aspects that affected the nature of reality and perception of reality. It was slow at times but the sense of tension, of wanting to know more, of concern for the biologist and what the older man knew kept me glued to the film. The use of trail cameras/camera traps in one scene was very effective as a horror movie element. Not a strongly plot driven film but it was almost arty but not confusing or deliberately enigmatic as far as I could tell, as I understood what happened.
PeachyPatReviewed in the United States on August 15, 2018
4.0 out of 5 starsEeeee Gads! Get Out of There!
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AT the end of this movie and old man says, "It's been 70 years and I am still afraid." Well I'm feeling him. there are some creepy bits through out the film and they keep building and building until the final scenes. Even if its an animal that is doing the damage, it is still scary. The ethologist is in the woods by himself and out of contact with anyone that can help him. When he comes upon the deserted village his natural instinct is to investigate. That's what he does for a living. I've walked thru plenty of abandoned farm buildings as a kid and know that I could easily creep myself out by letting my imagination run away with me. So the clinks and thunks are not going to deter our guy in the beginning. Unfortunately he finds himself stranded in the empty village and things take a turn for the worst.

Other reviewers have told you the film moves slowly. this is true but we are witnessing how the story unfolds and it's not in super fast flashes of action. It goes slowly because our main character moves slowly and tries to make sense of things.

the music and filming are very interesting. The music is muted but there are underlying dark tones as with the photography. There is not a lot of light and sunshine to give comfort. The rain does not help either.

I took off a point because I feel there are some questions that should have been answered or cleared up. The van? The gun? Who was the old man talking to and what happened with the info he gave? this still a great movie and I recommend it. I just pretended that I was walking the same path as the ethologist and wondered what I would be doing in his shoes.
3 people found this helpful
S. DuckReviewed in the United States on June 4, 2017
4.0 out of 5 starsBeautiful, slow-moving, and atmospheric suspense film.
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I was really surprised by this little film: it's not bad at all! If you are expecting a fast-paced slasher film or lots of gore, this isn't the movie for you. This is more of a very-slow-moving suspense film than a "horror flick," and (like many of the old black-and-white films) depends more on creeping dread, location, and atmosphere than on gross scenes. (The town, by the way, is both beautiful AND creepy, and the nature scenes are beautiful.) I think more could have been done to explain certain things (I won't reveal any spoilers), and I was a little disappointed that the elderly man did not have a better story. He could really have been pivotal, and the whole plot around the antagonists could have been fleshed out (no pun intended). In all this is still a decent "rainy night" type of movie. It's the type of movie that, especially in some parts, if you want to get up and quickly grab more popcorn or a drink you probably won't miss anything, and it probably won't haunt your dreams at night.
7 people found this helpful
Dr.KReviewed in the United States on May 22, 2017
5.0 out of 5 starsSet in Craco Italy Abandoned Ghost Village
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The abandoned village in this movie really exists in Italy. It was built by families who received their cement and wood from the owner (or governor) of the town who built his mansion on the top of the hill out of the absolute finest materials, 1179, Roberto di Pietrapertos became the feudal ruler--Craco: the abandoned medieval ghost town of Italy--perfect setting for this astonishing film based on an ecologist whose subjects are fitted with micro-cameras so that he can track them, just as he (and we) are trapped in this town under the scope of ghosts in this former medieval village located in the earthquake-prone Basilicata region of Italy. But it wasn't earthquakes or plagues that did in the residents; it was the greedy governor who ran the village like a slave ship caught in a storm where shelters collapsed under the architecture of unfit materials. If anything this movie is a comment on that disgusting monarch and his family whose doors were closed for good in 1963.
10 people found this helpful
Bill HReviewed in the United States on May 23, 2017
5.0 out of 5 starsClassic and well done
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I can't believe that I'm actually giving a Prime movie 5 stars. And I can't believe that I watched a Prime movie with a bunch of 5 star reviews that turned out to probably all be genuine. But Across the River is 5 stars for me. It was creeping down to 4 stars as the end started to drag out.

The reason ATR works is that it's a very simple plot with very simple action and dialogue that all let the staple themes of horror- increasing isolation and helplessness against something unknown- work. Very little distraction from the basics that make horror. And the movie does very well with the basics.
10 people found this helpful
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