A quiet week at the cinema saw us take a chance on newly released horror film, The Forest.
We went into this screening not sure what to expect, a lot of the reviews that had been posted were saying it wasn’t the best. Trouble is, as I’m sure you do, we tend to make our own decision when watching films, reviews only help give us information on the film, but not sure they would ever sway me to not go if I had decided that was the film I wanted to see.
The film’s lead is played by Natalie Dormer, who we best know for playing Cressida in the Hunger Games franchise, but is most known for TV monster hit, Game of Thrones.
In this film she plays TWO characters, twins, Sara and Jess. The film opens with Sara in America, being told that her twin, Jess, who is currently in Japan, is dead. The reasoning being that she has left the main path and entered the Aokigahara forest, and has not returned. This forest is also known as The Suicide forest and has Jess has not returned, it is assumed she has left the path of safety to take her own life.
Sara, feels that s a twin, she is still alive. We learn that incidents in their past have shown them to have a connection, not having a twin myself, I am not sure if this is a trait of being one, yet does seem possible.
Sara heads out to Japan, to find the truth about Jess, even if it means the worse and finding her body. Once in Japan, after failed attempts to get a guide to take her into the forest, she meets Aiden (Taylor Kinney, best known for his TV work in Chicago Fire) and tells him about her sister’s plight.
Aiden, who is a reporter, whilst showing concern, also senses a great story, so in return for an interview and rights, he will get her into the forest, through the park guide, Michi (Yukiyoshi Ozawa)
Michi, regularly searches the Forest, and also does venture off the path, into the known suicide area, in order to retrieve or rescue those who have considered or have taken their lives.
Whilst the film maybe slow to start, it does build up the characters, we learn the strong connection between Jess and Sara, is most likely due to the horrific death of their parents at a young age. However, once in the Forest, this film really does pick up a gear.
Sara finds Jess’s tent and refuses to leave the path, which Michi is adamant is asking for trouble. Sara does not take no for an answer, Aiden agrees to stay as well, in order to keep his story alive and promises they will not leave the tent!
Michi agrees to the terms but warns them the Forest will play tricks on them. Once night falls, things start to get very scary with very spooky imagery, breaking woodland, shadowy figures seen through the inside of tent etc
Sara suspects Aiden to be involved in Jess going missing, even to the extent of seeing pictures of her on his phone. Yet is this the Forest, playing tricks or real? Will Sara find Jess? Dare you enter the forest, well that’s up to you!
However, I had chewed most of my nails off during this viewing, and there were plenty of sequences that made me jump, so find it hard to see why this film is getting so many bad reviews. For me, it did what it was supposed to, keep me entertained and provide some scares along the way!
It certainly felt more original than every other horror reboot which seems to come around at present, although granted, it does not stand up to actual Japanese horrors such as The Ring; The Grudge or Dark Water for example, although it is on a par with the American remakes of them. If you have heard of these films and want to see them, we urge you check out the originals.
The film, also has the added bonus of the Suicide forest being an actual place which makes it just that bit more creepier.
If you want to check out the real forest, you can do so using the film’s website which offers an immersive 360 experience here
If you want a film that will not outstay its welcome and provide a few good scares along the way, we think the Forest is worth taking a chance on.
One thing for sure is if we are ever in Japan, I know one place that I shall not take Pepper for a walk =)
Are you a horror film fan? Have you seen the Forest? Are you a twin who feels things? We’d love to hear from you here at Barking Mad about Films
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