"The Forest" stars Natalie Dormer, Taylor Kinney, Yukiyoshi Ozawa, and Eoin Macken. Released on January 8, 2016, the film is about a woman who travels to Japan to search for her twin sister, who suddenly disappeared in the haunted forest where people go to die.
The film is directed by Jason Zada, and it is inspired by the Aokigahara Forest located at the northwest base of Mount Fuji in Japan. This forest is known for being one of the most popular sites for suicide in the world. When I first saw the trailer for this film, I was quite interested in the fact that it was based on a real life forest where many people go to commit suicide. It does seem a bit scary just thinking about it, but does this film make it even more scarier on screen?
Some OK performances.
Good uses of disturbing imagery.
Its use of jump scares were decent.
Natalie Dormer (known for her roles in HBO's Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay) delivered her weakest performance since Michael Ealy in The Perfect Guy.
The characters lacked depth and were uncaring.
The pacing felt a bit rushed in the beginning.
Final thoughts: "The Forest" does have its disturbing moments, but with its weak and predictable storyline, uncaring characters, and Dormer's weak performance, it's better off committing suicide. This is one of those films where it focuses more on scaring its audience instead of balancing them with the story and the characters. It just doesn't leave that much of an impact in terms of the forest's nature and concept. If you're a fan of cheap horror films, then you might like this more than I did. This is a solid contender for least favorite film of 2016, but I'm sure there are more films that are as weak as this.