The Forest (2016)

The Forest was a movie I wanted to watch several years back when it was released at the theatre. I skipped it and added it to my Netflix watch list, and finally watched it last night. I can safely say that is 1:33 minutes I will not be able to get back.

The concept of the movie, real or not, was what lured me in. The Aokighara Forest is a real place with real problems. Known as the “suicide forest” because of the high rate of hikers taking their own lives. Haunted by ghosts and personal demons, this would be the worse place to be at night.

Sara Price (Natalie Dormer) swears to have a connection with her twin sister Jessica who ventured out into the forest. The beginning of the story plays out like you would think and then it kinda goes downhill from there. When someone insists on staying in a spooky forest overnight, nothing good ever comes out of those moments. The scares are lame and they take away any real threats by announcing at the very beginning “whatever you see in the forest isn’t real”. So when crazy stuff starts to happen, I knew it was just in her head.

I totally expected a Blair Witch Project kind of movie but this particular horror movie was even less scary than the last Halloween movie. Sara lies throughout the entire movie and poor Aidan (Taylor Kinney) takes the brunt of her troubles. Whether or not he is a good guy is up to you to decide. Personally, I thought his intentions were good despite all the misdirection of the voices.

The ending was fitting of the situation. This particular story, among thousands about the forest, was about sacrifice. Bad things happen to good people and sometimes it takes a courageous act to correct previous wrongs. Do I agree with the ending, nope, not one bit, but it worked for this film. Overall I didn’t think The Forest achieved what it set out to do, which was bring awareness of the Aokigharain mystical powers. Someone else could have totally given us a much darker story with better characters. 2/10

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