Hot Take: The Forest is real… ly dumb. Apparently, the writer and director took the movie’s advice to “stay on the path” if staying on the path in a horror flick means cheap scares and huge, gaping plot holes.
January is never the best month for movies unless there are a few Oscar nominees you missed in December or the occasional late wide release (like The Revenant which released in a few theaters in December and hit wide release on January 8). Instead, the first month of the year is reserved for films like The Forest. Great marketing, a somewhat unique premise, a promise to frighten a little and, when finally viewed, a hollow, cheesy horror film with lame, cheap thrills that it’s better to not think about if you actually want to enjoy what little the movie has to offer.
The Forest isn’t horrible and won’t be the worst movie of 2016 but there’s very little you haven’t seen before and when it’s been done before, it’s much better. Watching the movie, you get why the concept is intriguing enough to make a movie about it but the way the story develops and the 96 minute length screams there’s not enough meat for this film to survive. It’s kind of a shame, too, because the real Aokigahara Forest has a unique story and might be as unsettling as the movie portrays. Unfortunately, in The Forest, everything is unsettling in the world of the main character, Sara (Natalie Dormer): Her apartment, the taxi, the hotels, the people around her. So, the forest becomes just another scary place in the movie.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- Natalie Dormer
There are bigger and better things in Dormer’s future as a lead. She’s conquered the supporting and bit role and it’s not her fault The Forest isn’t very good. She does her best with what she has to work with.
- The Concept
The real tale of the Aokigahara Forest is more terrifying than the fictionalized one presented.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- Cheap Scare Tactics
When the main character wanders around for no reason, you can expect a scare… and you’ll get it here, even if it has absolutely nothing to do with the film.
- Huge Plot Holes
You’ll be asking yourself, “Why?” on a lot of things. Well, if you aren’t asking yourself, “Who cares?” first.