‘The Forest’ – Review
By Lynn Sorel
Rating: 7 out of 10
Synopsis: A young woman searches for her twin sister in a Japanese forest only to find herself surrounded by paranormal forces.
Our Thoughts: ‘The Forest’ is a creepy psychological horror film centered around the infamous Aokigahara Forest, also known as the “suicide forest” in Japan.
The twin sister of a woman named Sara Price goes missing in the forest. Determined to find her, and convinced that she is still alive, Sara goes to the forest to search for her. She befriends an Australian journalist named Aiden, and joins his guided tour through the forest. They find her sister’s tent, and despite the warnings from the guide, stays over night to wait for her.
Sara is stubborn and doesn’t believe what the locals tell her about the forest, despite hundreds of years of folklore behind the stories. She does everything she shouldn’t do because she can feel that her twin sister is still alive. The result is a psychological roller coaster, as the viewer, and Sara, must try to keep track of what is real and what is not.
Despite the predictability of a portion of the film, it does manage to be creepy and build tension, relying on few cheap scares to achieve it. It is genuinely spooky and atmospheric. Unfortunately, the PG-13 rating keeps it from packing much of a punch gore-wise, as is usually the case. There are a handful of cheesy scenes toward the end, and the climax felt slightly rushed, however I enjoyed it overall.
Most true-story films are far from the claim, however this film holds to it’s claim. The specific of the people involved is not true, but all of the lore about the suicide forest is, including the angry ghosts that are said to occupy it.
Natalie Dormer is haunting as both Sara and Twin sister Jess. Taylor Kinney is also excellent as questionable hiking companion Aiden. If you’re a fan of Japanese horror or the American remakes of those films, you will want to check out ‘The Forest.’