January 30, 2016

Movie Review: The Forest (2016)

The Forest tells the story of twin sisters, played by Natalie Dormer (Hunger Games series). Like twins tend to go in the movies, you have the good twin and the bad (or in this case, troubled) twin. Fortunately, this movie doesn’t go down the usual path of the evil twin doing stuff and blaming the good twin. Unfortunately, this movie never really does much of anything interesting. It is a shame, as I thought the trailer and premise showed some promise. It is hard to see where exactly it goes off the rails. I feel pretty sure that it was never on the rails.

Natalie Dormer is Sara, and before we get to really learn anything about Sara, we learn about her sister, Jess. We learn that she has gone off into the Aokigahara Forest. Now, this is a bad thing, as the forest is known as a place where people go to commit suicide. Sara knows her sister is troubled, but does not believe she would ever do anything like that. So, before you know it, she has hopped a plane (with the blessings of her husband, who doesn’t even offer to go with her) and is off to Japan to find her sister.

What happens next is a we follow Sara around Japan. Fortunately, she meets plenty of English speakers, and even an American fellow (Taylor Kinney from Chicago Fire), who even offers to take her into the forest to look around. Into the woods they go, and it is inside the fun stuff happens. Well, things happen.

I kept waiting for something, anything to happen, but it never did. The Forest is just a dull, grey film that hopes to get you with a couple of gotcha scares and little else. This is a movie with no personality and no real story. It is all just sort of there. It is a shame, the idea of a story set in and around the Suicide Forest (which is a real place) should be ripe for a solid story.

The Forest was directed by Jason Zada, it is his first feature directorial effort. Prior to this he worked on the script for The Houses October Built, a haunted house themed horror film which was really quite good. The screenplay was handled by Nick Antosca (Hannibal), Sarah Cornwell, and Ben Ketai (30 Days of Night: Dark Days).

I don’t know. It has been awhile since I have seen the movie (yeah, lots of distractions around the Outcast offices lately), so what few details the movie had, have been quickly slipping away. All that is left behind is the vague impression of a movie that I have no desire to revisit. Pass.

Not Recommended.

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