The Forest

Picture Courtesy of Focus Features, Gramercy Pictures, Icon Film Distribution

Picture Courtesy of Focus Features, Gramercy Pictures, Icon Film Distribution

 

The Forest is a supernatural horror film which takes place in the Aokigahara Forest or “Suicide Forest”.  The forest is located at the base of Mount Fuji and is surrounded by myth and folklore.  It is said that long ago in Japan the infirm and elderly would be taken to remote locations and left to die, the Aokigahara Forest is said to be one such place.  Subsequently the forest would be haunted by Yurei which are a form of ghost or lost soul.

The Forest stars Natalie Dormer as twin sisters Sara and Jess.  I have to admit that watching this film it never really clicked who Natalie Dormer was.  For others such as myself, prepare for a shockwave of realization.  Dormer starred in Mockingjay part 1 and 2 as Cressida (camera girl with half shaved head and tattoos) and as Margaery Tyrell in Game of Thrones.  As identical twins, Sara always believed she could sense when her sister was in trouble.  Unfortunately, her sister Jess was always in trouble and her senses would bring her to her sister to help bail her out.  When her sister is reported as missing, Sara has a strange feeling that something isn’t right and flies to Japan to investigate.  Jess, who was working as a teacher in Japan, was last seen entering the Aokigahara forest and is presumed dead as a result of suicide.  Sara refuses to believe this and looks for a way to explore the forest.  Coincidentally at the hotel bar she meets a reporter named Aiden (Taylor Kinney) who happens to know a guide who does suicide checks in the forest.  When meeting the guide, he can see that she is sad and warns her that the forest will feed off her sadness and not to believe everything she sees in the forest.  Ignoring all warnings, Sara pushes forward taking the trio into the Suicide Forest in search of her sister.  In the forest, Sara’s intuitive feelings towards her sister draw her into the forest, as the forest begins to draw Sara’s emotions and memories out, causing Sara, and the audience, to question what is real and what isn’t.

It’s really hard to do reviews for horror movies and I usually tend to skip doing a review entirely.  The main reason for this is it is truly hard to find a horror movie that is actually any good.  They are usually loosely based off of a small shred of truth, or nothing at all, to fabricate some mess of a storyline to make their film.  You also have to ensure that you reveal nothing so as not to spoil the film.  Explaining it this way isn’t really helping my cause as it sounds like a pretty standard example of any film review.  The thing is, most horror movies are so bad they hardly merit the mention, instead they are just mindless sources of entertainment made to scare you, which many do, but they also unintentionally will make me laugh and in the end seem more redundant and a waste of time to complete a review.

The Forest is based on a location which is ripe for horror film picking and was just waiting for someone to take notice.  There are many scenes that really make you think as to what is really going on and what is going to happen.  Of course there are also those scenes that make you think wtf?  The psychological aspects of the film make this film worth mentioning; however, the execution really just turns it into any other horror movie that you watch once for fun and will never see or mention again.

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