“ You’re not real! You’re not real! You’re not real!”
Nothing good happens in the forest, at least not in modern times, and this is why horror films love to use it as a backdrop. It seems to me once you enter a forest, bad decisions start happening, decisions like camping. While camping may not scare everyone, for a guy who usually enjoys sitting in a movie theater with A/C, it is quite frighting. Lucky for me I have movies like “Into the Woods”, “Red Riding Hood”, and “The Blair Witch Project” to remind me of the fears of the woods. Fears like wolves, students looking for a witch, and of course singing. Trying to join in on the reasons not to venture into the great outdoors is “The Forest”, which turn out the idea the title represents is the scariest part.
Sara (Natalie Dormer) has a twin sister named Jess (also Natalie Dormer with darker hair) who together have that identical twin power of knowing when the other is in trouble. When Sara is called and told that Jess has disappeared into a forest that people only enter alone to end their lives, she hops on a plane to Japan to find her. While everyone else thinks she is dead, Sara uses that sense that tells her she is still alive. She heads into the woods after being warned that she shouldn’t go in alone because of what dangers the woods hold. Sara ignores the advice, then meets Aiden (Taylor Kinney), a travel reporter, who knows a guy, who knows the woods like the back of his hand. Together they start their search, and when Sara finds something that gives her hope, she, with Aiden, stay the night in the creepy forest. Like most of these situations, bad things happen as Sara tries to find her sister and survive the forest.
For someone who doesn’t like the woods, I do believe there are other fears that may affect different people in different ways. For an example, if you were an actor, or trying to be one, the performance by the cast of this film, might scare you on how bad they are at their craft. Nowhere in this film is anyone actually “acting”, instead sleepwalking might be a better word. If the acting isn’t bad enough, the writers, Nich Antosca, Sarah Cornwell, and Ben Ketai, make some interesting choices with the story. Choices like spending too much time on a back-story told through flashbacks that has no relevance to the story. Coming off the final months of the year when so many of the better movies tend to come out, the turn of the calendar year can be kind of tough. Like the left over Christmas trees no one knows what to do with, January and February are months that movies not many want to see gets dumped to. “The Forest” fits perfectly as a movie that only adds to the reason why you shouldn’t watch movies about people going into the woods.