Updated: Jul 19, 2021
The 168th review overall!
I don’t like doing so many recent movies in a row, I like having variety. But when I went to Family Video, they told me I was able to get two free movies, and there was no horror section, everything is alphabetical (I miss Sights And Sounds)... I have one more (after this one) from my stash of rented videos, then I have to go scouring for stuff. So after a weird night at work, I woke up and watched...
The Forest (2016)
We start with the girl from Hunger Games and “Game of Thrones” getting a phone call saying her twin sister is lost and presumed dead because she ventured in Aokigahara forest, and hasn’t been seen since. That’s a real place that is... well... famous for its suicides. It’s so bad there, at the entrance they actually have warning signs asking people not to kill themselves. Do a google search of that forest, check out the images and you’ll see a lot of pictures of people who ended their lives, needless to say, it’s not the most friendly place. When Natalie Dormer was walking through the forest in real life to get a feel for it, she stepped off the path to take a picture, but her guide absolutely refused to move even half an inch off the path.
So Sara hops on a plane to find her twin sister because they have the twin connection and she knows her sister Jess is still alive. While there she does some sleuthing and learns if you go into the forest with sadness in your heart, the angry spirits that roam the area seek you out. They get in your head to make you see and do things to the point where you deliberately or accidentally kill yourself. And as you know because you’ve seen a horror movie, or read one of my reviews before, nobody listens.
Sara, her friend she just met and a guide go off an adventure to find Jess. The first day not much happens, they come across a man who hanged himself, but it gets dark. The guide refuses to stay in the dark and against his strongest protests, Sara and the dude stay there because they found Jess’ tent. You know that always ends well.
Predictable, but still, I liked this movie. It wasn’t great, and at times it was frustrating. It had the infuriating flaw that Batman vs Superman, many seasons of “The Dean”, and many other movies have where everything could have been avoided if people were just better communicators. At one point Sara runs off into the woods because she sees a school girl beckon to her. It’s the middle of the night in Suicide Forest, where you were warned about everything being in your mind, and you go off chasing a spooky teenager. When they meet up she says Sara is waiting for her and says her friend can’t be trusted.
I think the movie knows a normal person wouldn’t believe a random girl who just happens to come across you in the Haunted Forest, so out of nowhere Sara and Aiden become super suspicious of each other. Both of them spend the entire rest of the movie staring at each other sideways and both acting off like they’re hiding something. I know why they did it, but both characters just do a total 180 and the movie didn’t do a good enough job of getting us to that point.
From there you have your standard ghost/spirit fare, some creepy visuals and a few pop up scares. The ending is telegraphed as soon as the guide gives his warning, and it’s set in stone as soon as the two started acting like idiots. This isn’t a movie that after watching you’ll be either happy or sad. It’s an enjoyable ghost story that you’ll watch and forget about later. I will say, however; the final scene before we cut to black is eye roll inducing.