The Forest (2015) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace

the-forest-2016-posterThe Aokigahara forest, located in the deep woods of Mount Fuji, is storied to be a place where people go to commit suicide when all seems lost. Sarah is on the search for her twin sister when she senses something is deeply wrong with Jess. Authorities in Japan aren’t as hopeful either. When Sarah journeys to the forest she will plunge into fear as ghosts of the dead haunt the grounds she walks on.

In his directorial debut, Jason Zada takes on the story of the suicide forest and infuses it with horror. Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer plays the twin sisters of both Sarah and Jess. When Sarah is warned about the influences the forest can have she turns her head refusing to let anything stop her from finding her sister. From the start of the film Dormer’s performance wasn’t all that terrible until she spends more and more time in Aokigahara. There came a point at the mid-point of the movie when her character became annoying by the way she handles situations. Not all is to blame on Dormer however because the movie itself was lacking from the beginning.

imagesThe movie takes its time while Sarah travels to Japan meeting with those who knew Jess. Through meetings with a school advisor and a classmate of Jess we got to understand what the locals feared. It’s strange to say but the time spent away from the forest and the mystery behind the forest was better then what we get when things go south. Interestingly enough, the backstory of a family tragedy that struck the twin sisters while they were young played a key role in closing moments of the film. Even then the execution was poor and couldn’t make up for the lack of scares or patience to get to the end.


Typically the early months of the year don’t bode well for movie-goers as it becomes Hollywood’s dumping grounds. And ‘The Forest‘ just happens to fall victim to that statement. With interest in the documentary behind the Aokigahara forest, people will venture out into theaters with expectations that match that of the trailers and stories. Unfortunately, ‘The Blair Witch Project‘ did a better job of making a more intense thriller when it came to the woods along with a superb marketing strategy. This movie will fail to match any level of terror or success as other movies had.

Rating: 4.5/10


Have you seen ‘The Forest‘? What do you guys think of the movie? Leave a comment below and subscribe.



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