The Forest

Critics Consensus

The Forest offers Natalie Dormer a few chances to showcase her range in a dual role, but they aren't enough to offset the fact that the movie's simply not all that scary.

10%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 137

22%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 14,617

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Movie Info

When her twin sister disappears in Japan, a young American named Sara (Natalie Dormer) becomes determined to find out what happened to her. Sara's investigation leads her to the legendary Aokigahara Forest, located at the base of Mount Fuji. Accompanied by expatriate Aiden, she enters the mysterious wilderness after being warned to "stay on the path." Her investigation plunges her into a dark world where the angry and tormented souls of the dead prey on those who dare to explore the forest.

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Critic Reviews for The Forest

All Critics (137) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (123)

  • The storytelling is very perfunctory. Some of the shock tactics are moderately effective but, as the film-makers attempt to combine traditional horror movie elements with insights into the troubled psychology of their heroine, they soon lose their way.

    February 25, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • The Forest is a dumb and dreary horror movie that's notable only for its racial insensitivities, lack of horror, and for making Natalie Dormer from Game of Thrones play identical twins distinguished only by hair colour.

    February 25, 2016 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Unearned jump-scares abound - handily, Japan is full of toothless OAPs who randomly leap at young women during the night - as do the kind of obviously digitally augmented ghouls that dispel a creepy atmosphere on contact.

    February 25, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • It's a very by-the-numbers movie, and Aokigahara becomes just another generic creepy forest that might as well be fictional.

    February 25, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • The film's biggest problem is its over-reliance on familiar genre tropes - a succession of cheap jump scares releases the dramatic tension instead of adding to it.

    February 24, 2016 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • The silly, hand-me-down scares just don't chill.

    February 22, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Cath Clarke

    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Forest

  • Sep 11, 2016
    Jason Zada's mind zap in The Forest gets lost within the trees. The first 30 minutes of this 90 minute psychological thriller is a slow burn of build up. The final hour is a trek which wanders and never leaves any satisfaction. The pacing picks up by the finale, while the sense of realism is eventually loses touch. The setting and creepy effects are worth noting, but other than that, there just isn't enough to push this picture past mediocrity. Natalie Dormer is watchable; however, she doesn't get much help from Taylor Kinney, who plays it all bland as trees in the forest. The Forest is made of trees and that is what this film delivers.
    JY S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 04, 2016
    I gained absolutely nothing from this experience bar the knowledge that Natalie Dormer makes for an attractive goth. Final rating:? 1/2: - Boring/disappointing. Avoid if possible.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 26, 2016
    The Forest, featuring Natalie Dormer (twice!), is about twin sisters in which one was last seen going to the infamous Aokigahara forest in Japan which is also traditionally known as the 'Suicide forest'. The location of the film was great, camera shots of the lush view of Aokigahara and Mount Fuji and excellent cinematography used within Tokyo. The problem and the ultimate failure of the film, is that it's not scary...not even remotely. The overuse of loud jump scares grows tedious extremely quickly. Dormer was able to show a range of acting skills and I thought she was good, other supporting actors were not good. I cannot recommend this film unfortunately, it's just another poor low budget horror movie.
    Luke A Super Reviewer
  • Jun 23, 2016
    Natalie Dormer stars in the atmospheric horror film The Forest. The story follows a woman who travels to Japan to search for her twin sister who is believed to have gone into a forest known for its allure for those intent on committing suicide; but the deeper she goes into the forest searching, the more she begins to sense a malevolent spirit at work. Dormer gives a decent performance, but she really doesn't have much to work with as the script is incredibly weak. And the plot, if there is one, is paper thin. Additionally, the scares aren't that frightening. Still, while it's monotonous and uninspired, The Forest does deliver a few chills.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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