Culture Magazine

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – The Forest (2016)

By Newguy

forestDirector: Jason Zada

Writer: Nick Antosca, Sarah Cornwell, Ben Ketai (Screenplay)

Starring: Natalie Dormer, Eoin Macken, Stephanie Vogt, Noriko Sakura, Jozef Aoki, Yuho Yamashita, Taylor Kinney, Yukiyoshi Ozawa

Plot: A woman goes into Japan’s Suicide Forest to find her twin sister, and confronts supernatural terror.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Story: The Forest starts as we follow Sara (Dormer) looking for her twin sister Jess who was last seen heading into the notorious Aokigahara Forest in Japan, the forest is famous for the number of people who go into it only to commit suicide. There is no way someone could search and know the spelling on that forest having only just heard about it. Sara continuing to search for her sister she meets Aiden (Kinney) who offers to take her into the forest with a guide Michi (Ozawa) to search.

Just before the 30 minutes mark we finally make it into the forest and hopefully the scares start now. Finding the camp site of her sister Sara refuses to leave the Forest where Aiden reluctantly stays with her, this is where the real horror starts as we see what the forest makes the people believe, can she make it out alive and discover the truth about her sister.

The Forest is one of the horror films I was most looking forward to, mainly because the location is real and fascinates me. We get a very boring story of an American trying to find her missing twin sister in Japan who happens to have ended up in the forest. I was expecting to look into the mythology about the forest instead of getting pointless lazy jump scares and a twist which is so forced you just want to sit back and sigh.

Actor Review

Natalie Dormer: Sara/Jess Price, Sara travels to Japan to find her missing sister Jess who has gone into the Aokigahara Forest and not returned, Sara follows the clues to her location but remains determined that she is in fact still alive. Natalie does an average job in this dual role but never convinces.  


Taylor Kinney: Aiden is the helpful man living in Japan who helps Sara find a way into the Forest in search for her sister, he wants to turn it into a story but doesn’t let her know his true identity. Taylor doesn’t really get past the basic supporting performance.


Yukiyoshi Ozawa: Michi is the guide who teaches Sara about the forests and the does and don’ts to survive the horrors that await her. Yukiyoshi is a simple guide character only.

Support Cast: The Forest has basic supporting cast that all guide Sara on her path.

Director Review: Jason ZadaJason doesn’t give us enough with the source for the story.

Horror: The Forest doesn’t give us anything but basic jump scares.

Settings: The Forest is set in the location where the effects are real which is why this should be a good location but it doesn’t end up using enough of the idea.
Special Effects
: The Forest has very basic effects to create cheap jump scares.

Suggestion: The Forest is one for horror fans to try but isn’t one of the best. (Horror Fans Try It)

Best Part: Looks good.

Worst Part: Final outcome.

Believability: Nope

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $26 Million

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

Tagline: Stay on the path.

Trivia: Natalie Dormer actually went to the suicide forest for research with her Japanese driver, she ventured five meters off the path to take photos and her Japanese driver wouldn’t step half an inch over the path.

Overall: Very disappointing horror film that should be a lot better.



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