Review - The Forest
By midlandsmovies, Mar 2 2016 04:07PM
The Forest (2016) Dir: Jason Zada
The spirit of J-Horror returns in the feature length directorial debut of Jason Zada, starring Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones, Rush) as Sara Price - a woman who travels from the US to Japan searching for her twin sister Jess who was last seen entering an infamous suicide forest.
Based on a real life suicide hotspot, the idea that the forest harbours malevolent spirits is a strong one but sadly underworked although the elements lifted from real life such as the winding of string to allow people to find their way out if they change their mind does add a certain level of believability and substance to the plot allowing the viewer to buy into the story.
However it is the fictional aspects of the writing that lets this film down. Using her supposed twin powers Sara knows that her sister is still alive with this unwavering belief being the key driver behind the film but although a sibling bond is strong it is over played to the point of annoyance and soon into it you start to lose sympathy or rather interest in her struggle.
Hitting the majority of the tropes of the sub-genre The Forest fails to make much of an impact simply because not only does it lack any real scares but more importantly it fails to build any real bond between the viewer and Sara who simply isn't likable and this doesn't change as the story develops although to be fair this is perhaps due to the poor writing than Dormer's performance.
Channelling the ghosts of J-Horror, The Forest is a weak effort all round with little to recommend it to fans of the genre and is best left hidden amongst the trees.
Midlands Movies Marek