2016 has seen the return of the horror flick. Films like Hush, Lights Out, Don’t Breathe, The Woods and The Conjuring 2 are reshaping and breathing life back into a genre. However, The Forest, an awful psychological indie horror film about twin sisters and the spooky Japanese woods where people go to kill themselves, is not one of them.
Call me old school but anything that is labeled under horror should be ‘horrifying’. Maybe The Forest is, but not in the sense that you might think. It’s bland, familiar, filled with cheap jump scares and the usual tropes. And that’s sad considering that the film is set in a truly scary real-life location, Aokigahara Jukai forest in Japan.
Directed by Jason Zada, The Forest tells the story of Sara (Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer), whose twin sister, Jess (Dormer), went for a trek around the forest and disappeared. Sensing that something bad has happened to Jess (you know that weird twin telepathy thing?), Sara flies to Tokyo and starts to search for her sister. She soon manages to gather help and ventures off into the forest, despite being warned by locals about it. It’s not long after that The Forest heads into Blair Witch territory.
Natalie Dormer is always watchable, however, she deserves a lot better than the material on offer here. The Forest does her no favors by partnering her with Taylor Kinney in this tedious film that makes use of every gimmick immaginable.
Blah, blah, blah. Whatever. I won’t waste any more of your or my time on this mediocrity. You can do so much better with what’s on offer this year.