“Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all – the apathy of human beings.” – Helen Keller
A camera pans across the lifeless body of a young woman, stripped naked, lying in the grass beside the river, and rests on a hauntingly vacant look in her eyes. It’s a chilling, unsettling, and frightening image returned to frequently throughout Tim Hunter’s film partially inspired by real events that occurred in California in 1981. Most disturbing, however, are the reactions of those who stand by, friends of the guy who murdered her and brought them out to the river to showcase the graphic results of his actions. Their silence at the sight is deafening, and they all walk away, leaving her cold corpse as it was before, unwilling to report the crime but content to move forward with their lives. Only one lingers behind, not to turn in his friend, but to help cover up his crime. Faced with such horrors, how can one respond with such indifference, with no sadness, empathy, or even repulsion or terror? How is that in real life a murder a young man bragged about, going as far as showing the dead body to at least thirteen individuals, went unreported for two days? RIVER’S EDGE paints a dark and twisted picture of these circumstances and a small town oblivious to its own self-destruction, making for a strange, disquieting, and riveting portrait.