by: NICOLE TRUGILLO/ Editor-in-Chief
Dead corpses, strange sounds, and hallucinations is what Sara Price encounters when she tries to find her twin sister Jess.
She is missing in the Aokigahara Forest, which is at the northwest base of Mount Fuji in Japan. It is known as a destination for suicide.
Sara (Natalie Dormer) first receives a call from the Japanese police telling her that they presume that her sister is dead because they see her entering the Aokigahara Forest. Despite her fiancé’s concerns, Sara takes the next flight to Japan because she believes that Jess is still alive and can “feel it.”
Sara stays at the hotel where her sister was staying, and she meets a reporter named Aiden (Taylor Kinney). They hit it off quite nicely. They drink together because Aiden is interested in interviewing her after Sara explains why she is there. Sara eventually starts talking about her life, and then Aiden invites her to go into the forest with him, along with a forest guide named Michi (Yukijoshi Ozawa).
The next day, the three enter the Aokigahara Forest and, Michi tells Sara that her sister is most likely dead. Sara doesn’t believe it and continues to have hopes to find her twin. When it starts getting late, they discover a yellow tent, and Sara immediately notices that the tent is her sister’s. Since it’s getting late and the Aokigahara Forest is known to give you hallucinations at night, Michi suggests that they leave a note for Jess and head back out of the forest. Knowing that she is close to seeing her sister, Sara refuses and stays, along with Aiden. Michi tells them to stay put and he will be back by morning.
In the middle of the night, Sara hears strange noises coming from the forest. She follows them, only to find a Japanese girl, who says she knows Jess and to not trust Aiden. Sara tries to follow her, but ends up losing her. Sara eventually gets lost, but Aiden finds her.
The next day, Sara is suspicious of Aiden, which leads her to think that he may have something to do with Jess’ disappearance. When Aiden tries to calm her down, Sara refuses to let him get near her.
They both eventually end up in an old ranger station, and Sara has to come to terms with wondering if Aiden is really the bad guy or if the forest got into her head.
“The Forest” was released on Jan. 8. Of course, the trailers made it seem like the type of movie that will make you not sleep for days, especially if it’s based on a real place.
I was really hoping that since it was based on the Aokigahara Forest that it would give the film that edge that every “horror film” lacked. Predictably, the film lacked the horror.
Don’t get me wrong, the film did have one or two parts that made me jump and cover my eyes. But I wanted more from the film. I wanted more horror. This forest makes you see your worst fears for crying out loud!
The actors were great, and I never really have an issue with the actors. It was just the storyline of the whole film. I think that’s what “kills” horror films. The writer had a good idea by using the Aokigahara Forest, but it just didn’t quite cut it when it came to the plot.
I must congratulate them on the ending. It was surprising because I expected the film to end like how all horror films end. So, with that being said I will give ‘The Forest’ 3 out of 5 stars.