When Natalie Dormer’s twin sister (also Natalie Dormer) goes missing in the infamous Aokigahara forest in Japan, she must venture into this treacherous area to find her. Fearing that her sister has committed suicide she has to face more than just getting lost in these woods.
Morally questionable choice of forest aside – Aokigahara is famous for people committing suicide within, in real life – The Forest’s real crime is that it just isn’t scary enough. It sets up the story in a fairly perfunctory way but with a degree of efficiency and the first five minutes of walking around the actual forest are decent enough. However after this is just resorts to cheap jump scares that are entirely generated by loud noises in the soundtrack and not at all created by what you see on screen. You could legitimately watch with your eyes closed and jump just as much.
Natalie Dormer herself is pretty good considering the plodding screenplay but she can’t save this movie from crippling mediocrity. Taylor Kinney is also pretty good and the two of them have a nice chemistry that you would’ve thought could set the film up to be effective in scaring the audience. But at the end of the day you need more than cheap zombie dolls and loud noises to scare anyone. The Forest probably won’t be the absolute worst horror movie of the year, but it’s going to be right down there.