Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
Natalie Dormer – Sara and Jess Price
Taylor Kinney – Aiden
Eoin Macken – Rob
Stephanie Vogt – Valerie
The Forest instantly reminded me of two movies I have seen in the past; Shrooms (for the twisted hallucination scenes) and Oculus (for the psychological horror that unfolds throughout the movie). I liked Shrooms – because of how wonderfully bad it was; the kind of flick you can stick on when you fancy indulging in something ridiculous, where you couldn’t give a crap about any of the characters, but you want to be nicely creeped out. A guilty pleasure. And Oculus reminded me of the sort of concept you’d get from a Goosebumps book many years ago; a haunted mirror. Ridiculous – but sinister and brilliantly weird. But then came The Forest – utter shit from beginning to end. Yes, it contained elements that you’d find in the likes of the above mentioned movies, but overall it was one of the most tacky, unentertaining, unmoving, dull excuse of a horror I have ever sat through. If I was offered the opportunity to view it again I would instantly refuse. Why?..
Firstly, The Forest contains all the obvious traits a stupid person is made up of:
– Sara running towards threat instead of running away.
– Being warned about a specific area or person – and getting fully involved with it / them.
– Admitting the Forest makes people hallucinate and freak out – and then believes everything she sees is real (such as invisible person passing notes under a door, and a bloodied talking corpse who she follows into a dark tunnel)
– Not fully charging her mobile phone (and guess what – no signal where she is), thus resulting in being completely cut off from any other life
– The woodland guide tells Sara to stick to the main path, and that people “see things” in the Forest – and to not believe the hallucinations.. she is later seen running after a young woman who is clearly a ghost, into the Forest. She has both left the path and believed the hallucination.
Not only is The Forest predictable, it is utterly tedious. This isn’t helped at all by its storyline; a pair of identical twins – each can feel what the other is feeling whenever something bad happens to her. This means that Sara can feel her sister Jess is alive, hence her venturing into the Forest to get her back. Thing is, this whole ‘psychic’ link puts a dampner on the movie as a whole. It means the plot isn’t about Sara delving into the trees and getting lost amongst her despair, but instead the link between the twins acts as a map; pinpointing where the other twin is. The character knows the location of her sibling is the Forest, and heads directly there. This means lack of suspense, tension. It lowers any form of mystery as Sara goes on the hunt for Jess. (think The Blair Witch Project where Heather, Josh and Mike have walkie talkies to communicate with each other).
Although the protagonist of this movie does rely solely on her psychic link with her sister, it still dilutes the plot massively, being led by this ‘feeling’ inside rather than heading into the gigantic forest with no idea where to start. Instead, Sara marches straight there.
At points I found myself glaring at the screen with folded arms and numb arse cheeks. This wasn’t going well. The Forest was nowhere near as intriguing as I’d hoped, and it was a shame because the publicity for it (mainly the poster) reminded me of one of those sinister flicks such as Drag Me To Hell (2009). Young woman desperately grasping at the air above her as she appears to be entangled and pulled under the earth by an unknown evil force.
In fact, the night I watched The Forest a man I know was in the same auditorium watching the same screening. As the end credits rolled and I exited, we both briefly discussed how bloody awful the movie was. His response was that of laughing with sheer disappointment. And with the god-awful ending scene we’d just watched topping the movie off, I couldn’t blame him.
The Forest is one hell of a step down the career ladder for actress Natalie Dormer. In fact it was more like she was thrown down the career ladder. Harshly.
The director probably thought they’d all struck gold by having her lead her own movie, but on the contrary – everything about it was the wrong movie for her. The genre, script, direction, poor storyline; It was like a mockery of the woman’s talent. This was a new low for Dormer as the actress gave it her best shot – in a movie which flopped spectacularly. This movie offers no substance whatsoever and towards the end becomes a jumble of characters and situations (I.E. a handful of cops on the hunt, a few random locals also on the hunt, both Sara and Jess now being lost..).
During the final twenty or so minutes I already knew how the movie was going to conclude – because of how predictable it was. And I was right.
This stirred yet another eye-rolling reaction from me as I grabbed my jacket and prepared to leave the cinema.
The Forest did not utilise Dormer’s talents properly, it was almost an insult to what she is capable of.
Steer well clear of this movie if you don’t believe in wasting your time on complete crap, and have the slightest bit of good taste in film. Unfortunately being based on an actual place in Japan, The Forest takes this factual location and shits all over it. A few movies have done this in the past and it’s a risk Hollywood takes; creating a story and staging it somewhere that actually exists, or basing it on a true story. It can go one way or the other, and in this case The Forest nose-dived brilliantly.
Poor Dormer. She should have stayed in and watered the plants, not walked on to a set full of them.
This is one to forget.