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.

The Amazing Spiderman 2: The Good, The Bad and The Amazing? Review

Mark Webb’s latest Spiderman film opened up last Wednesday over here in the UK a fortnight before USA and possibly other countries so this review will have a number of spoilers in it so if you want to be spoiled then read on. These are my personal good and bad points other people may differ.

 The Good-

The beginning of the film starts of similar to what the first film started off but this focused around Richard Parker and a key point of the film called ‘Roosevelt’. Not only is this a good beginning for the film it also does show that somebody was hired to get whatever is connected to Roosevelt back. Some thoughts that me and my friend had was that it was either Oscorp or Hydra or possibly A.I.M (but that seems unlikely). Nevertheless it was a good beginning and does leave people with some questions.

 The next point is Gwen’s valedictorian speech that she gives at the graduation ceremony. The way that she words the speech is important to the end of the film, which I will go into later, but with the scene she tells about moving on. (To be honest I’ve totally forgot about what happens but I will go on more at the end.

 Next we get introduced to Harry Osborn played by Dana DeHaan, Donald Menken played by Colm Feore and Norman Osborn played by Chris Cooper. But the big thing that I truly never expected to happen in the film was that they killed off Norman Osborn in the very beginning. The way that he looked if he was dying from a experimental goblin formula but it turns out it’s a hereditary dieses that is also starting to affect Harry as well. To be fair when I saw this I was still thinking that it was a goblin formula to dieses. Other than that it was a good scene between DeHaan and Cooper.

 All I got to say is that when Max Dillon gets tuned into Electro it is an amazing scene. After trying to repair a cable in a experiments room or a something that has to do with electricity getting then electrocuted by said cables and then bitten and gets transformed by eels is just an amazing villains origins. Then it’s revealed that he ‘dies’ and then wakes up in a crematorium after Menken sent him there to cover up another Oscorp mess up. Then we see the first appearance of Electro and Jamie Foxx gives a great performance as Dillon/Electro. All that Dillon wanted to be was noticed and manages to by draining Times Square electricity and then Spiderman comes in and tries to help Dillon but then manages to steal his spotlight. Dillon then drains more electricity and shows some of his true powers by destroying a few city blocks with a electrical blast that manages to do a lot of damage to few city blocks but Spiderman manages to take him down with the help of the NYFD. It also a really good use of special effects, defiantly when Spiderman saves people that are trapped on the staircase and the make-up effects of Electro are well done and do look a lot better than what it would have if it was the original Electro.

Next point to talk about was Gwen and Peter’s relationship, at the beginning of the film we all think that it’s been going okay, but then after graduation it turns out that Peter is second guessing after seeing visions of Gwen’s father everywhere that he goes. This is handled well, not great but well. But then later in the film there is some development when they decide just to be friends so that there then could be a possibility for them to get back together in the future, but it then turns out that Gwen has the opportunity to go to Oxford. This then leaves Peter with a decision to sacrifice what he had with Gwen for her future. He then starts to feel happy because he then was able to get closure about his father but then sad because she was able to get to place in Oxford. This then leads for Peter to web up a giant sign of ‘I Love You’ on the Brooklyn Bridge (I think) this then leads to Peter then accepting that Gwen going to Oxford would be the more better option for their relationship.

 Next point is Harry Osborn turning into the Green Goblin, Harry gets access into Oscorp by helping Electro break out of Ravencroft and finding a way into getting a formula that may be able to help him reverse the effects that killed his father in the beginning of the film. But something bad happens when the remedy doesn’t work and starts to accelerate the goblin effects, he then manages to crawl into the infantry suit and it starts to heal the bad effects of the dieses. I found this scene to be really well done and it sort of reminded me of Revenge of the Sith when Obi-Wan chops of Lord Vaders legs and he starts crawling and crying in pain, it was similar but again my opinion.

 s blood was used for the tests. Peter was also able to find out what Roosevelt was as well because it was another secret train base that seems like it could have been developed by SHIELD. So with that Peter finally could close the book on his family past and move on with the bigger problems in life. 

The next point in the film that I would like to talk about is the second battle between Spiderman and Electro. In this one the upper hand goes to Electro because there fighting in an electrical station and Electro can now travel through the energy coils. Not only that but the music stings and the Tesla coils go well together and it creates an amazing scene as well as the slow motion effects as well. The scenes are shot really well and it then does lead up to possibly the saddest scene in the film.

The major point of the film for me was Gwen’s death. I knew that it was either going to happen in this film or the next but I would like to praise the writers for this by giving her a correct death, being that the same (near to) way that she dies in the comics by Spiderman trying to save her with the web-shooter and the cool effect where the web looks like that it was a hand reaching out for her but it wasn’t enough. It was a really sad scene and then it showed Peter being at her grave over the past seasons. He then manages to move on when he finds Aunt May packing away stuff that belonged to Uncle Ben and that gave him the idea to pack away his memories, but whilst he was doing that he finally decided to watch Gwen’s speech where it’s said that it’s time to move on. This was another good scene and it linked up well with the beginning of the film.

  The Bad-

 For the past year or so there has been so much stick about the amount of villains that were in the film, for instance they said that they had cast people for Alistair Smyth, Felicia Hardy and Rhino. To be fare they pretty much had limited rolls in the film, Smyth was only in the film for at least two minutes at best Felicia was the same but at least Rhino had a part to play at the beginning and end of the film. So far this is what I’ve been hating about comic book films such as the long coming Man of Steel two as it has people who are meant to be Wonder Woman, Green Lantern or Cyborg even a number are minor characters in that universe as well.

 Another bad moment for me was that there was mention of J. Jonah Jameson as Peter said that he was working for him, but yet through the film we did see Peter communicating to him but yet no face. This is why I’m hoping that they could try and get JK Simmons back to reprise his role as JJJ from the Sam Ramini Spiderman films because he did look like the comic book counterpart and it felt like that he was JJJ. I hope that he is in because that what make a lot of the good comedy of Spiderman when JJJ is around.

 I think that a scene that could have went better was when Harry wanted Peter to help him with his near crippling disease that Spiderman may be able to help him with, as we know from the first film he was able to help Dr Connors with his research to regenerate limbs so why wouldn’t he try and help Harry, who has been his friend since his parents died wouldn’t try with his science background to try and think of a formula to at least help out Harry.

 The final thing that I thought was bad is in fact a mixed point and it comes at the very end when Rhino appears in the suit, yes that’s right a suit. This is sort of a nod to what happens in the Ultimate Spiderman TV series that Rhino was given a robot suit to improve his powers. I think that this was rather a letdown as this is the AMAZING Spiderman not the Ultimate Spiderman, I’d rather like to see a CGI version of a cross species Rhino like in the Amazing Spiderman video game that came out with the first film, but then I think that would have looked strange as well. Either way it did look good but I’d prefer if they were to stick to the source material.

 The Amazing?-

 The Amazing parts of the film was the revelation that Harry Osborn had an idea of building up a small force which then hints towards the Sinister Six (originally headed by Otto Octavius) where we see the same guy who visited Dr Connors when he was admitted goes into the secret project room in Oscorp and brings out the Rhino suit but we all so see two Easter eggs that were shown in the trailer where we see the Vultures Wings and Otto’s Tentacles. This is really hinting towards Sinister Six and it has been confirmed that there is a film in the works and hopefully it should be a good film.

 Then going back to what I said about Vulture and Doc Ock been hinted I think that if there in the next film or the Sinister Six film then I hope that they can cast the right people for the roles because that would be a key point to have. You would need to cast somebody at least in their early 50’s for Vulture and somebody possibly in their early to mid 40’s for Otto because that’s where there would be more people that would have the correct feel for the villains, in my point anyway.

 Even though I did say that the Rhino tank armour was a bad point it was also an amazing thing to see in the film itself. It looks rather badass and it looks like it can do about the same amount of damage, hell maybe even more than what the original Rhino could do. It may be the fact that we live in a more CGI world instead of picking a jacked up fighter or heavy set person to portray the Rhino similar how they casted Michael Clarke Duncan to play Kingpin in Daredevil. But it’s the directors choice to make.

 Also going back to what I said about the Gentleman visiting Harry in Ravencroft I have been mulling over the possible identities of him. I think that it could actually be Norman Osborn and that him dying is all a ruse and that he is still alive. This theory may need more thinking over but at least it is one idea. The next idea that I have is that it is Miles Warren aka The Jackal who made the clones of Spiderman who then go on to star in their own series and makes sense why there is a guy who is curious about Spiderman.

 Finally the thing that I found really amazing about the film was the acting from our two main villains, Jamie Foxx and Dana DeHaan. I’ve seen a number of Jamie Foxx’s works and they have been good but this performance has got to be in the top of his list. The way that he went from a sort of shy character that was fascinated by Spiderman after he got saved by him and then turning into Electro was just amazing. Also the fact that he decided to make his Electro his own character by developing a Clint Eastwood/ Alec Baldwin whispered voice which just felt really chilling. Then you have Dana DeHaan, I haven’t seen any of his works like Chronicle so I was going in blind on what he was like and I really liked his portrayal of Harry Osborn and Green Goblin. Since he found out that he was also going through the same genetic problems that his father was going through he was being desperate to find a cure and that showed something that James Franco’s Harry didn’t show and that was a true desperation into finding something. But his Goblin performance could have been better but it will probably be more developed in either the next film or Sinister Six.

 My overall rating for the film is 8.5/10: It is possibly one of the best Marvel films this year but it won’t beat The Winter Soldier.