His widow and son (she doesn't look old enough to have a college-age son, but that is the least of this show's problems) team up with a reality TV show. They lead an expedition up the Amazon, where all the professionals and experts have looked (and failed). They discover the missing ship - before the first advert break!
Aboard the ship, they discover something has been imprisoned in one of the rooms. Even though no human could have survived for that length of time without food or water, they decide to open the door. Thus unleashing the predictable monstrous presence. The result? A Found Footage effort with an invisible monster (a la Paranormal Activity ).
The team go searching inland. They discover a disused graveyard, built 200 years ago by a British Robber-baron. Conveniently the Yankees forget their own history, raping and pillaging the natives from sea to shining sea from 1492 onwards.
Camping for the night in a graveyard with a tree full of baby-doll heads is not a good idea. Especially when it is haunted by a girl who wants her mother back - and tries to abduct the protagonist's mother. The answer comes straight out of The Woman in Black .
The explorers go inland, and investigate a cave. The token black guy is claustrophobic, so he stays out. Smart man, considering what happens to the others.
The natives in the area are known for punishing moral transgressions. When the protagonists act selfishly, they start to go blind. Then the natives close in on them.
Obviously, the key is for the heroes to act in a heroic, unselfish way. Blindingly obvious and cliched, but this is a ploddingly unoriginal show. The mixture of Found Footage and staged action is quite distracting.
We get hints of character development. The Documentarian and the widow may have had an affair in the past. And the German security thug is certainly up to something.
The crew take the MV Magus further up-river. They discover a hanging man - it is Jonas the cameraman from Dr Elliott's expedition. They rescue him, in the hope he can tell them what happened to the others. But he has been cursed. Jonas is a Jonah!
The Found Footage technique is used for the cameraman's Lost -style flashbacks. A pity the show isn't entirely found footage - the mixture of live-action filming is jarring and makes the show harder to get into.
The blonde girl gets interviewed about her father, the cameraman who went missing with the naturalist, Dr Emmett Cole. Some behind-the-scenes footage is found featuring him - he is Lee Tergesen ( Weird Science ).
The MV Magus is Sea Shepherded by a mysterious ship, which then disappears. A few minutes later, they meet a boatload of hippies who claim to be hunting illegal loggers or whatever. Nobody puts these two events together, they are so glad to see other white folks. All except the security goon, who actually does his job. He does not want someone else getting involved before his own backup arrives.
The rescue team discover a camera bag. They start watching the tapes, which are conveniently edited together for ease of viewing. Thus we get multiple camera angles of Dr Emmet Cole's last expedition.
We finally get some face time with Dr Emmet Cole himself. He is obsessed with finding the source of all the magic in the jungle. It soon becomes like Blair Witch Project - two guys and a girl lost in the woods, filming their panic as they get chased by an unseen beastie.
The team explore the last known location of Dr Emmet Cole. It is a research outpost, staffed by Germans. The German security man's secret agenda becomes clearer.
The outpost is deserted, like the colony in Aliens . Was it attacked by a supernatural force? Or was it a germ research lab like the one in Resident Evil , that got overrun by Fast Zombies? After all, the supernatural cliches have been used up - let's have a few cliches from other types of horror film instead!
Someone takes a shot at our heroes. One of them is killed - but can they revive him? Unfortunately, breaching the barrier to the spirit world brings something else back too.