''The River Wild'' is a 1994 American thriller film directed by Creator/CurtisHanson and starring Creator/MerylStreep, Creator/KevinBacon, David Strathairn, Creator/JohnCReilly, and Creator/JosephMazzello. The story involves a family on a whitewater rafting trip who encounter two violent criminals in the wilderness.
* BadBoss: Wade frequently insults Terry for his mistakes. He even slaps him for having let Tom escape in one scene.
* BigBad: Wade.
* BondOneLiner: "He got to ride 'The Gauntlet' after all".
* ChekhovsGun: Because Gail's dad is deaf, the whole family knows sign language.
* CountingBullets: Wade only got to reload his revolver once before his ammo is thrown overboard. In the end, he's surprised his gun is empty when Gail attempts to shoot him.
* TheDragon: Terry, though he reluctantly goes along with Wade's leadership.
* DefensiveFailure: Subverted- Wade tries to kill Gail after she chooses to fire what he thinks is the pistol's last bullet into the air instead of shooting him. [[spoiler: Turns out, she had two bullets and kills him with the actual last one.]]
* FatalMethodActing: Meryl Streep nearly drowned while filming a rafting scene.
* FauxAffablyEvil: Wade. As soon as he's unmasked, he drops the friendly facade.
* HandsOnApproach: Tom isn't quite amused to watch his wife teach Wade to flyfish.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: At the climax of the film, [[spoiler: Gail kills Wade with the very same gun he was using against them for the duration of the movie]].
* InsistentTerminology: Tom doesn't make ''sketches'', he makes ''designs''.
* KickTheDog: Wade attempts to shoot the family's dog during the film because he considers it expendable. [[spoiler: The dog gets away unharmed]].
** He also slaps Roarke for having tell his parents about his gun.
* MarriedToTheJob: Tom is obsessed with his designs.
* MeaningfulName: ''Wade'' can't swim...
* PunchClockVillain: Terry, as he at times contests Wade's method.
* RedHerring: Roarke throws his camera in the river to keep it away from Wade. Johnny finds it... and returns it to them.
* SecretTestOfCharacter: Gail fakes being out of bullets when holding Wade at gunpoint after surviving the Gauntlet, so she can see how he reacts.
* SkinnyDipping: Gail takes a bath in the river.
** OutdoorBathPeeping: A really creepy looking Wade watches her.
* VillainBall: Wade [[spoiler: murders Ranger Johnny, but fails to take his gun despite only having 2 bullets left.]]
* WasntThatFun?: After riding and surviving the feared "Gauntlet" with no injuries.
* WouldHurtAChild: Wade outright orders Terry to kill both Tom and Roarke after finding that Gail has no bullets in the gun. [[spoiler: Or so he thought.]]