Teaching there is the concerned Betsy (played by Jennifer Ehle), who happens to be engaged to the Dean, and (naturally) during the course of the investigation, happens to get involved with Abel – plotting the points of the movie’s first love triangle.
But that’s later. First, she proves her talent as a photographer and first-class Meryl Streep impersonator, and shows a somewhat nervous affection for her husband-to-be, who may just have some ulterior motives.
The River King has interesting things to say about guilt, and less interesting things to say about ghosts, but it's a really different film in a time when so many mainstream movies look like links from the same sausage press. It’s by no means great, but see it before you see something you’ll truly regret, like oh, say, The Fog.
And from the Toronto Star on October 27th...
The River King 14A
Part murder mystery, part supernatural thriller, part psychological drama, The River King is adapted for the screen by Nick Willing from a novel by Alice Hoffman. Edward Burns plays Abel Grey, a tormented cop who appears to be projecting his own tragedy on the death of Gus Pierce, a student boarding at the local private school. Pierce's body is found in the river under the ice. His fellow cops rule the death a suicide, but they appear to be in cahoots with the school over something or other. Photos taken by a teacher, Betty Chase, seem to show a ghost. The male students engage in bloody rituals at night in the woods. Abel sees a little boy on the riverbank whom no one else sees. It's all very suspicious. Unfortunately The River King gets silly just when it should get profound. SW
Now Toronto is equally enthusiastic. Likewise Jeff Musgrave of Exclaim.