‘River Wild’ (2023) Characters: Joey, Gray & Trevor, Explained: Who Dies? Who Survives?

River Wild, a reimagining of the 1994 thriller The River Wild, helmed by director Ben Ketai, weaves a storyline centered around Joey, a young woman, and her estranged brother Gray, as they embark on a thrilling whitewater rafting expedition. Two other women and Gray’s childhood friend Trevor also join them on this trip.


As the story unfolds, the film explores the intricacies of the characters, each shrouded in mystery and harboring hidden depths. Joey and Gray’s fractured relationship provides a compelling backdrop, showcasing their emotion and the tension in their journey. However, it is Trevor’s presence that becomes a focal point of suspense in the narrative. Following the revelation of a shocking twist, we discover that Trevor is a convicted parolee whose presence is triggering a sense of impending danger among the group. Despite the apparent red flag, Gray remains undeterred in his decision to include Trevor on their expedition, which further troubles their journey.

River Wild doesn’t delve into the personal journeys of these characters and mainly concentrates on their adventures, making it challenging for us to connect with them on a deeper level. Let’s take a closer look at each character to gain insights into their individual arcs.


What was Joey’s relationship with Trevor?

River Wild delves into the compelling story of Joey, the protagonist, a withdrawn and introverted out-of-service doctor who finds solace in her own company. When she joined her brother Gray, a passionate river guide, for a whitewater rafting adventure, the journey took an unexpected turn with the presence of an ex-con, Trevor. Although Joey has no issues with fellow travelers Karissa and Van, she harbors deep reservations about Gray’s childhood friend, Trevor, with whom she didn’t have a friendly relationship.

Joey’s apprehensions about Trevor were not solely due to his status as an ex-convict on probation but were connected to a dark past she shared with him. When she was only 15, Trevor made inappropriate advances at her, leading to unresolved trauma and resentment. Unfortunately, Gray dismisses Joey’s concerns, convinced that she might have romantic feelings for Trevor, which widens the rift between the siblings.


Despite having a personal life and a relationship with someone else, Joey refrained from disclosing this information to her brother Gray, reflecting her deep-seated resentment towards him for inviting Trevor on this journey despite knowing the potential risks. This rift in trust led Joey to distance herself even more from her brother, creating a sense of isolation and emotional turmoil within her. Tragically, Joey’s fears were realized when Trevor’s sinister nature surfaced, and he attacked one of their group members, Van, resulting in her tragic death. As the situation intensified, Trevor took the remaining group members hostage as he planned to escape justice and flee the country. Joey attempted to do everything she could to save Van and get themselves out of this situation, but on this perilous journey with a monster like Trevor, she could neither save Van nor her brother.

Did Gray Survive?

Unlike Joey, Gray had an outward appearance as an extroverted and friendly river guide, but he maintained a sense of privacy, never fully revealing his personal struggles or the complexities of his relationship with Joey. Trusting his childhood friend Trevor wholeheartedly, Gray remained oblivious to the fact that Trevor was a psychotic killer and never a trustworthy friend of his. Throughout the ordeal, Gray quietly observed the mistreatment of Joey by Trevor, torn between loyalty to his friend and protecting his sister. In a courageous last stand, Gray took action to shield Joey from further harm, leading to a heartbreaking sacrifice as he lost his life in the process.


How did Van die? What Happened to Karissa?

In River Wild, Karissa and Van, two best friends, embark on the rafting adventure with great excitement. While Van embodied a free-spirited nature, Karissa had to put her dreams of becoming a fashion designer on hold after getting married. Despite the exhausting journey, Karissa managed to survive, but unfortunately, Van fell victim to Trevor’s vicious attack during a midnight camping trip near a forest, resulting in a severe head injury and a major concussion.

In her moment of distress, Van bravely identified Trevor as her attacker to Karissa and Joey. As a doctor, Joey did her utmost to save Van’s life, while Karissa provided comfort and support to her injured friend. However, Trevor revealed his true malevolent nature, preventing the group from seeking help and holding them all as hostages, resulting in Van’s death due to a lack of emergency treatment.


Still, amidst the turmoil, Karissa exhibited tremendous bravery and resilience, managing to free herself and Joey from the shackles. She decided to venture in a different direction to call for help. Karissa’s courage and determination proved to be a crucial turning point, enabling Joey to survive the dangerous predicament they found themselves in.

Did Trevor survive?

Trevor was a man tormented by his murderous personality, battling the darkness within him, but his attempts at reform were futile. As an ex-convict, he vowed to avoid returning to the confines of prison while on probation. However, an insidious obsession with taking lives constantly pushed him to commit one murder after another. The first victim of his violence was Van, but upon discovering her in an early stage of injury, Trevor had the chance to seek help and save her life. Instead, driven by his desire to avoid accountability, he resorted to killing a ranger, trying to remove any traces of his attack on Van. In his pursuit of escape, Trevor’s guilt and inner turmoil pushed him to consider a fresh start, but this meant resorting to more violence, sinking him deeper into darkness. Additionally, the disturbing nature of his character was highlighted in the film when Trevor claimed to care for Joey like a sister despite his earlier inappropriate advances, revealing his twisted mental image. His intentions were anything but harmless, as he escalated his heinous actions by also targeting Gray and Joey.


In a brutal showdown, Gray, even with a gunshot injury, courageously fought Trevor to protect Joey, leading both of them to a tragic end by plunging into the river. This heartbreaking conclusion left Joey on her own, struggling to survive and seeking help after Trevor and her brother’s horrifying deaths. Owing to Karissa and her bravery and intelligence, Joey survived this perilous journey, leaving this nightmare behind.

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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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