The Forest Reviews

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July 3, 2020
Instead of an exploration of Japanese history and culture, the narrative is filtered through white, western eyes. Plodding and uninspired, not particularly frightening, and worst of all, boring.
May 17, 2019
While director Jason Zada's first feature film stayed away from being a carbon copy of standard J-horror fare, it lacked the complexity and substance to hold a seasoned horror fan's attention.
January 17, 2019
It's the kind of screenplay where a twist happens with no real set-up, mainly because it is the only way the writers can figure out how to get to the forced ending they want.
December 7, 2018
It has ghosts, it has atmosphere, it's well-acted and scary. Yes, it tries too hard in some respects, but it's a respectable effort, and it works well enough to be worth watching.
November 9, 2018
Some bright spots do redeem The Forest's presentation. Otherwise, Zada's thin and jittery payoff is nothing more than a toothless trek through the pseudo petrified Forest.
November 2, 2018
The film simply failed to create a complete mythology in their plot based on the real life myths. The result felt like pieces of several different stories chopped up and thrown together in a way that lacked substance and scares.
August 20, 2018
There are times when Dormer honestly looks a little confused by what should scare her more, and I can't help but relate.
December 4, 2017
The Forest desperately wants to be intelligent psychological horror but fails at every corner
October 24, 2017
Dormer is a refreshing presence but the film is short of genuine, grown-up scares.
October 14, 2017
The Forest made me wonder if the reason we have yet to see the Matthew McConaughey/Ken Watanabe film Sea of Trees, also about Aokigahara, is because it's really hard to make a movie about the suicide forest that isn't tasteless and exploitative.
September 18, 2017
Someone made the decision to economize on story and amp up the chase sequences.
August 1, 2017
By the time the film reaches its ridiculous ending, it has stretched our disbelief to the point of failing to see the point for the trees.
March 13, 2017
The Forest [is] a decent horror movie that offers plenty of shriek-worthy moments. But its more interesting aspects are the repressed guilt and sorrow at its core.
January 2, 2017
Rest assured your last camping trip packed more thrills.
December 31, 2016
Alas, there's no real sense of tension as the story (credited to three writers) lurches toward a by-the-numbers ending.
December 5, 2016
The Forest plunders the J-horror vocabulary to muster what jumps it can, and is pretty nice to look at. But only the really good horror films know how to end on a high note, and this isn't one of them.
November 11, 2016
There's absolutely nothing to it.
August 16, 2016
The film feels more like an expertly crafted missed opportunity, a suspense opus filled with some solidly intriguing ideas that for some reason it refuses to investigate.
August 2, 2016
Disturbingly manipulative and yet totally conventional, The Forest is more memorable for being opportunistic than for being truly frightening.
July 26, 2016
The eminently watchable Natalie Dormer is front and centre in the new psychological horror from first-time director Jason Zada, but you can't help but think that the actress deserved better.
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