The Forest movie review - Aussieboyreviews


There’s jump-scares, tension and character development, but teens looking for the better horror movies should just skip this one. The forest is a film that may scare audiences who are new to the horror genre, but it won’t impress true horror fans.


A young woman is confronted by supernatural terror when she travels into Suicide Forest in Japan in search for her missing twin sister.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Jason Zada
Cast: Natalie Dormer, Taylor Kinney, Yukiyoshi Ozawa, Eoin Macken, Noriko Sakura
Writer: Ben Ketai, Nick Antosca, Sarah Cornwell
Release Date (Australia): 15 June 2016
Runtime: 93 minutes/1h 33m
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA
Language: English, Japanese

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (M)

Thematic content in the film includes horror themes, supernatural themes and frequent references to suicide.

Violence (M)

The film features horror violence in the form of a man being stabbed in the chest and a woman accidentally cutting her wrists, accompanied by depictions of blood and injury detail.

Coarse Language (PG)

The film contains infrequent use of the words “s**t” and “damn”.

mpaa rating

PG-13 (for disturbing thematic content and images)

Aussie boy's thoughts

Promising, yet predictable, poorly-twisted, haunted and relying on jump-scares-tension, The Forest is a weak horror-thriller that will appeal to younger teens/horror beginners. That’s not to say it’s completely terrible, because it does have several major elements that work out finely and even more if you’re new to the horror genre, but it’s usually just another foreseeable execution that lets down on its fascinating concept.

The idea of this movie surrounds a young woman travelling to Japan and heading into Suicide Forest in search for her missing twin sister. It’s not until about 30 minutes into the movie (which is one third) until the characters actually head into the forest, which allows plenty of time for some solid character development. Within this period, you get to learn the main character and her relationship with her twin sister, a bit of their shared backstory, and the meeting between the two characters who stay in the forest waiting to find the lead’s sister. For some, this will be the slowest part of the movie, but it begins to pick up after that.

What’re probably the most promising aspects of The Forest is the very unsettling atmosphere throughout and the whole fact that this movie’s plot revolves around this Suicide Forest. Suicide is always an uncomfortable but interesting piece of subject matter, especially in horror movies, which already gives an intense and dark theme to this movie, but the elements that work out come along with the massive flaws.

It’s hard to describe the lead performances in this movie, since it’s not worth calling the acting great or poor when it’s back down to the screenwriting that lays underneath and must give engaging ideas. A lot of the horror elements in the forest are also relying on easy tension, dark shadows, jump-scares or creepy events in dream/flashback sequences. It uses effective sound effects and techniques from other horror movies, but the story may even be quite convoluted to some people. Especially after sitting through it, you can say that this movie could’ve done a lot better or tried a bit harder, but it comes out as weak, unimpressive and rather forgettable.

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