The Forest: Review

So The Forest was currently released in cinemas to the UK thanks to lingering release dates since that it was out in America in early January, never the less here’s what I thought of the latest slice of horror.

So the story focus around a woman called Sara played by, Natalie Dormer, who finds out that her twin sister, Jess (also Dormer), living in Japan is alerted that she had entered the infamous Aokigahara Forest where it is known that people go there to commit suicide. Then throughout the film it is basically her trying to find her sister. She then decides to fly out and search by first start by going to the school that she works at where she finds that she has a prescription of anxiety, possibly building more up on the suicide angle. She then finds out that she was a part of a school trip that went to the area where the forest is located and then heads out there to see if she can find her. When she arrives there off the train she heads to what looks like a small office/ cooler where they keep dead bodies of people that they get for when authorities pick them up for disposal. The owner believes that she has the body of Sara’s sister but it turns out that it isn’t her and then walks along a trail where we get one of the more stranger scenes of a line of schoolgirls (possibly from the same school where Jess worked at going by the outfit) and winds up at a hotel that seemed to just appear out of nowhere. In the hotel she meets a reporter called Aiden where he try’s and gets close to Sara. There she tells him about her sister and what happened to her parents saying that it was a car accident but from what we are shown it is something different. Aiden then reveals to her that he is going into the forest along with a guide of the forest called Michi to see if she can find her sister with their help. When they get to the forest and go across the ‘no entry’ line that we start to see that Sara does seem different. We then see a lot of scenes of the forest and it does look really like a beautiful place, minus the dead bodies. Later into the hike Sara gets pulled in a direction different from the route that Aiden and Michi were going which then leads them to find the tent that they had when they were growing up. Michi say that it is time for them to go but Sara says that she isn’t going anywhere through the protest of both Michi and Aiden, but then Aiden changes his mind and decides to stay with her. This then leads Sara to then start being over influenced by the forests evil forces and has some hallucinations and is then led away by a spirit who gets her to have more distrust towards Aiden and think that he had something to do with Jess. A real good instance is then afterwards where there trying to get to a path so that Michi can find them easier or that they can get help. There when they were walking right to left notice a dead body flowing them in the same direction but then when Aiden pulls her away from the edge, Aiden then walks from left to right with Sara pointing out that they were walking in the wrong direction building up on her paranoia and then Aiden corrects her saying that they should follow the river where it now appears to be flowing the opposite way it was before. Sara runs away from Aiden which then leads her to apparently the area where she found the first dead body and finds some yarn/ twine that she then wraps around a tree to try and have somebody possibly Michi to find her. But when she is trying to create her trail her sister’s voice and the dead body that she finds is telling her to look behind but she tries to ignore the voices but then she gets frightened and runs off to then fall in a hole where she injures her leg and finds the game schoolgirl that warned her about Aiden and gets her to come further in the cave to then get scared when it turns out that the schoolgirl is in fact a yurei and she tries to escape the cave and Aiden manages to find her and rescue her from the cave and they manage to get a old rangers station where Aiden tries to fix a old radio. This then leads Sara to believe that Jess is in the cabin where the supposed Jess writes a note to her from a door that leads to a supposed basement. Sara then goes to kill Aiden and proceeds to go down the now unlocked where younger Jess witness what happens to their parents and Sara then learns to truth that it was a murder/suicide and then the dead father goes and attacks Sara. We then cut immediately over to Jess where it turns out that she is in fact alive and starts running through the forest as well as Sara who then manages to break free of her father’s grip. They both end up running to the forest where the search party, including Sara’s husband. Sara keeps on calling Jess’s name but she keeps ignoring it where it then turns out that the schoolgirl stops Sara from continuing. Jess is reunited with Sara’s husband and the search party. But then the twist comes in and that it is revealed that Sara is in fact dead. She then gets dragged into the forest and is then seen in death form by Michi.

I got to say for this film it also had rather good editing as well expect for the some of the first ten or so minutes. When she finds out that Jess has went in the woods and she instantly moved in to the woods it was then re-cut to feature some small details and introduce her husband even though it seems like that he could have been cut out of the film but there needed to be somebody to meet Jess when she got out of the woods. It seemed to be really a weird side of setting up the beginning even though they could have just shot it regularly instead of this crazy way of editing it. Then I think that there was one rather small subtle editing problem that I noticed and that was a scene in the beginning where you have Sara and her husband where the shot seems to have been flipped since the shot before and after it was taken in the same style. It seems really noticeable since the fact that Natalie Dormer does have some beauty marks on one side of her face. So other than that I didn’t think that there was that many problems editing wise with the film and it seems that it was also paced rather well.

The acting of the film was pretty good. Dormers performance through the entire film was really good and I think that this is her pretty much in a good role that I like even better than her role in Game of Thrones and for the fact that she plays two characters makes her performance rather well since that they are two different characters as well. Taylor Kinney who plays Aiden in the film was also rather well since that when Sara started to become paranoid it did seem that Aiden had some other motives, maybe like that he did have something to do with Jess’s disappearance. There also seemed to be more with the character as well so I hope that when the DVD comes out there could be some deleted scenes or alternate scenes where we may find out more about him since there did seem more that could have happened with him since there was a lot of small things that seem that were unexplained that would have needed explained.

Over all I did like the film, I just wish that there were less jump scares in the film and focused more and more on the psychological effects that the characters are going through. Final Verdict 7/10.


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