Monday, September 5, 2016

Movie review: The Forest

When her twin sister disappears in Japan's "Suicide Forest", Aokigahara Forest, Sara sets out to search for her. Instead she finds the woods a playground for the supernatural.

Natalie Dormer (Sara/Jess), Eoin Macken (Rob), Stephanie Vogt (Valerie), Noriko Sakura (Mayumi), Taylor Kinney (Aiden), Yuho Yamashita (Sakura), Terry Diab (Grandma), Nadja Mazalica (Young Sara/Young Jess).

The Forest begins well enough with some minor backstory and character introductions. After Jess goes missing things get slightly more interesting as Sara sets out in search of her missing twin. Once the story moves to the forest things get much more interesting as the supernatural aspect of the film moves into focus. The rest of the movie is a supernatural horror ride with some thrills, chills, BOO shots, and a nice twist for an ending.

Acting was decent with Dormer doing a nice job in her dual role with good delivery and emotion. Kinney was enjoyable and did a good job generating doubt with his delivery. The remainder of the cast was solid and fit the film nicely.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were good although some of the darker forest scenes were a challenge. Action scenes and CGI were good with nice detail and fit. Dialogue was a bit thin at times, and could have easily added depth to the film. Sound and soundtrack are mild but enjoyable.

Despite a somewhat unusual storyline, The Forest ends up being a basic haunted-woods script with a few mild twists. The plot is interesting, technical work fairly well done, and acting solid making this a nice mid-level horror flick that genre fans should enjoy.

With plenty of graphic violence and gore, some foul language, and just plain scary scenes, this surprisingly should be fine for teens and above.

Released: 2016
Reviewed: 8.18.16
Star rating: 3 out of 5
Genre: Horror, Supernatural Horror, Supernatural Thriller, Thrillers

copyright ©2016 Dave Riedel

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