Review of "The Forest (DVD)"

published 24/05/2017 | kiss_me2070
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Pro good storyline, easy to follow, acting is reasonably good
Cons might not be to everyone's liking
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Characters / Performances
Special Effects

"Most People Who Enter The Forest, Don't Come Out Of The Forest!"

The Forest (DVD)

The Forest (DVD)

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Me and my boyfriend were flicking though the films on Netflix to try and find something to watch and to be honest there wasn’t a great deal that really sounded great or that really appealed to us. We ended up watching this Supernatural, Horror film which is directed by Jason Zada and written by Ben Ketai, Nick Antosca and Sarah Cornwell. This majority of the film is set in and around the Aokigahara Forest at the northwest base of Mount Fuji in Japan. Apparently, this forest if known as a popular destination for suicide. The story for this film follows a young woman who travels to the suicide forest to find her sister. I did actually decide to look Aokigahara up and it is also known as the ‘Sea of Trees’, as well as the ‘Suicide Forest’. This forest does actually have a historical reputation as a home to ghosts of the dead in Japanese mythology. It’s only in recent years that this location has become internationally known as one of Japan’s most popular destinations for suicide.

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Natalie Dormer as Sara and Jess Price
Taylor Kinney – Aiden
Eoin Macken – Rob
Stephanie Vogt – Valerie
Yukiyoshi Ozawa – Michi
Rina Takasaki - Hoshiko
Noriko Sakura - Mayumi
Yûho Yamashita - Sakura
James Owen – Peter

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The Film
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The film opens with a girl running through the forest asking for help. From the sound in her voice and her running it’s obvious that she’s scared or is running away from something. This how-ever is only a dream that Sara is having. Sara wakes up and as she takes things from her closet we see her take a photo out of a frame which we can only assume is her sister. The next scene is at the airport where Sara has just flown into and it’s here that she tries to call her sister (Jess). Sara seems frustrated and also worried that she can’t get hold of her sister. From then on, the rest of the film is in Japan. Whilst we see scene of Sara travelling through Japan in a taxi, she receives a phone call from someone at the school where Jess used to go to. Whilst Sara is in the taxi we also see some flashbacks to her back at home before she decided to go to Japan and look for her sister. The same night Sara arrives in Japan, she has another dream and as we see the dream she is having, there was a part which did make me jump slightly.

Sara visits the school where her sister teaching and she finds out more about the forest and the spirits that are apparently there. About 15mins into the film, Sara is on the train so she can get to the forest and try to track down her sister. When Sara gets to a little cabin in the forest she asks for a guide to help her go into the forest but she is told that the guides never come back. Sara continues to make her way to her hotel where she is staying. By now we have met a few other characters in the film, although some of these play just small parts. It’s not until Sara gets to the hotel which is when we meet Aiden, whom is another main character in the film. Aiden writes for a local newspaper and he wants to write about Sara’s story about her looking for her sister. Whilst Sara is chatting to Aiden, we learn about what happened to her parents when she and her sister were young.

About 30mins into the film there was a scene which really made me jump as it wasn’t really expected. The following day Sara, Aiden and Michi (someone Aiden knows) head into the forest to try to find Jess. As they enter the forest this is when we learn more about the forest itself and what other people have seen when they have visited the forest. I personally think Aiden starts to come across as a little strange when they enter the forest and it’s as though he is hiding something or knows something. As they walk through the forest there are a lot of eerie things that we hear about the forest and we also see some eerie things as well. Further into the film it comes across as though Sara might also be a little suspicious about Aiden as well. Despite being warned Sara and Aiden decide to stay in the forest over-night and this is when Sara and Aiden get to know each other a lot more and we find a little more about each of their pasts.

I don’t want to reveal much more of the film but as Sara and Aiden get deeper into the forest trying to find Jess, there are certain things that Sara becomes suspicious of, or is she just looking into things too much? The last half an hour in the film things start getting tense and a little more exciting as Sara is left on her own and Michi sends a search party out to look for Aiden and Sara. Will Sara find her sister and get out of the forest or will Sara listen to the voices in the Forest that are calling her? Is Sara suspicious of Aiden for a reason or is she just paranoid? To find out you will have to watch the film!

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Natalie Dormer plays both parts of the sister’s very well and right from the start Sara is a very likeable character. Taylor Kinney also does a good job at playing his role of Aiden and although he’s a likeable character as well, I did find that there was something about him that I didn’t like, although I couldn’t quite work out what it was. The only other real main character in the film is the person whom plays Michi. It’s obvious that Michi wants to help Sara as much as he can to find her sister, so right from the start he comes across as a caring and likeable character as well.

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Special Effects
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There are some special effects in the film where you see some scary faces of some people and these are done very well. Some of this is obviously make-up but some of it is also special effects. These special effects and the way the make-up is done looks very well and there were times where I jumped in places due to how good the make-up and special effects were/

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Overall Opinion
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I would have personally said that this film is more of a thriller, rather than a horror. The film is definitely watchable and it’s an easy watch as well with the storyline being easy to follow. All the characters in the film are very likeable (although not so much Aiden), and they all play their parts very well. There were a few bits in the film which made me jump a couple of times but there is very little blood and I wouldn’t have personally said that there is a lot of gore in the film either. Although you may be able to predict some of the ending of the film when watching it, my prediction was actually wrong and it didn’t actually end how I thought it would which was good. The most exciting part of the film probably happens within the last 30mins, which is a shame as I think they could have made things a little more exciting before then. Overall this film was an easy watch but I wouldn’t watch it again.

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• The Forest grossed $12.7 million during its opening weekend, finishing fourth at the box office, behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Revenant and Daddy’s Home.
• On Rotten Tomatoes, this film has a rating of 10% based on 116 reviews with an average rating of 4.1/10.
• On Metacritic, the film has a score of 34 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating unfavorable reviews.
• Audiences polled by Cinema Score gave the film an average ‘C’ on an A+ to F scale.

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Other Information
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Release Date (UK): 26th Feb 2016
Certificate: 15
Running Time: 93mins
Horror, Mystery, Thriller

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Comments on this review

  • jo-1976 published 18/07/2017
  • Secre published 06/06/2017
    Interesting read
  • jb0077 published 06/06/2017
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Product Information : The Forest (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Genre: Thriller

DVD Region: DVD

Classification: 15 years and over

Production Year: 2016

EAN: 5051429103037

Video Category: Feature Film

Actor(s): Natalie Dormer, Taylor Kinney, Yukiyoshi Ozawa, Eoin Macken, Rina Takasaki

Director(s): Jason Zada


Listed on Ciao since: 23/05/2017