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Forest, The


Stars: Natalie Dormer, Taylor Kinney, Yukiyoshi Ozawa, Eoin Macken

Director: Jason Zada

Dormer begins the film with a loud scream when, after being subjected to something horrible, she wakes up – having, along with the audience, faced the now more than somewhat tired genre cliché, the opening nightmare… After this, Dormer heads for Tokyo after learning her twin sister (Dormer again) who was working in Japan as an English teacher has mysteriously vanished in the legendary infamous (real-life) Aokigahara Forest where people go to commit suicide…

Advertising films director Jason Zada makes an inauspicious feature film debut with a turgid shocker which even features that most recent of horror movie clichés – the cellphone that is unable to get a signal.

To give the two leads their due, in keeping in with the spirit and setting, their performances are as wooden as the terrifying trees through which they travel, together and alone, facing unsurprising shocks and scares including a trio of hideous witches, along with a hanging corpse, flesh-crawling worms and far too many overdone sound effects.

It's strictly for genre completists.

Alan Frank

USA 2016. UK Distributor: Icon. Colour.
90 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 24 Jul 2016

DVD review