95 min | 2016 | (USA) | Jason Zada
Synopsis: A young American woman named Sara Price (Dormer) travels to Japan’s Suicide Forest (Aokigahara) in search of her missing twin who has a troubled past.
Review: Slow, building horror with a cerebral bend.
If you are looking for jump scares, tons of special FX, or gore, this movie is not for you. If I had to categorize it, I would call it more of a suspenseful thriller. The Forest is like the burn in your muscles the day after a good run. While watching The Forest, it is at times difficult to tell the difference between what is real and imagined. The film’s dream-like quality leaves you as disoriented as the characters that attempt to navigate the labyrinth inside the Aokigahara Forest.
Be prepared, the Aokigahara doesn’t actually play as large of a role in the film as you might think. I won’t give away any spoilers but if you are going to enjoy this film, you have to go in with an open mind. Upon viewing trailers, one might think the whole film is about the horrors that lurk within this specific forest…not so much. The Suicide Forest is a conduit for the larger portion of the film to unfurl. In fact, I would suggest that the nebulous forest is just a means for Sara and her twin, Jess (also played by Dormer) to work out their equally ill-defined inner demons.