“The Forest” displeases horror fans

%22The+Forest%22+includes+actress+Natalie+Dormer+who+stops+at+nothing+to+find+her+sister+%28Courtesy+of+www.facebook.com%2FTheForestIsReal%2F%3Ffref%3Dts%29.
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“The Forest” displeases horror fans

"The Forest" includes actress Natalie Dormer who stops at nothing to find her sister (Courtesy of www.facebook.com/TheForestIsReal/?fref=ts).

"The Forest" includes actress Natalie Dormer who stops at nothing to find her sister (Courtesy of www.facebook.com/TheForestIsReal/?fref=ts).

"The Forest" includes actress Natalie Dormer who stops at nothing to find her sister (Courtesy of www.facebook.com/TheForestIsReal/?fref=ts).

Madeline Moffett

While Leonardo DiCaprio and “The Revenant” cast are hearing the Oscar buzz and “Star Wars: Episode VII” is smashing records at the box office, “The Forest” is looks like a puny little seedling.

Playing off of the urban legends of the Aokigahara Forest, “The Forest” attempts to create a psychological thriller, but only leaves viewers walking out of the theater scratching their heads and having to listen to their significant other whine that they should have seen “Star Wars.”

Sara Price (Natalie Dormer) gets an unsettling call from authorities in Japan, informing her that her sister, Jess (also played by Dormer), was officially a missing person, and she was last seen entering the notorious suicide forest at the base of Mount Fuji. Convinced that her sister is still alive due to their identical twin voodoo connection, Sara embarks on a mission to find Jess.

"The Forest" includes actress Natalie Dormer who stops at nothing to find her sister (Courtesy of www.facebook.com/TheForestIsReal/?fref=ts).

“The Forest” includes actress Natalie Dormer who stops at nothing to find her missing sister (Courtesy of www.facebook.com/TheForestIsReal/?fref=ts).

Despite multiple people telling her to not go into the forest, Sara naturally disregards the advice and searches for a guide. She stumbles upon dreamy Australian travel journalist, Aiden (Taylor Kinney) in a bar. How convenient. After a lot of beer and predictable flirting, Aiden invites Sara to travel with him and forest expert, Michi (Yukiyoshi Ozawa) and vows to help Sara find her ailing sister.

When the trio make it into the thick of the forest, Sara really begins to show her stubbornness. Which, predictably, gets her into a lot of trouble. The next hour proceeds to be a series of “Oh my god, you’re an idiot” and other muttered phrases reacting to the typical reckless antics of a horror movie’s main character.

"The Forest" lackluster plot and absence of real horror makes for a boring time.

“The Forest” lackluster plot and absence of real horror makes for a boring time. (courtesy of teaser-trailer.com)

Dormer is a crowd-favorite on HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and is recognizable from her stint in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay,” but her first expedition in the world of horror was lackluster at best. The plot line does not do her any favors for sure, but she has way more talent than she displayed. The cheesy close-ups and unfulfilling dialogue were snooze-inducing at times, would suddenly get interesting for a stretch, and then fall back to its dormant, wait-for-the-next-sort-of-creepy-scene pattern.

The movie was a series of scarring childhood flashbacks, sweeping shots of the Japanese deciduous forest backdrop, and numerous attempts to be scary.

And don’t get me wrong, there were times where I had the overwhelming urge to cover my eyes, specifically when Sara starts going crazy and hallucinates maggots crawling out of her poorly-treated hand laceration.

The idea was there; the Aokigahara Forest is the perfect setting for a horror movie. Dozens of people wander into the forest annually to commit suicide, which has prompted many local myths of paranormal activity. Sounds like the perfect premise for people who apparently love nightmares. But unfortunately, “The Forest” falls flat. The only redeeming quality is that it’s only about an hour and a half long.

So if you want to be scared, “The Forest” isn’t for you. And isn’t for any body for that matter.

 

 

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