The Forest Reviews

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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.
March 6, 2016
We are packed onto a poorly designed ghost train and hurtled past a randomly arranged array of stuff that would fail to frighten even the frailest infant.
February 28, 2016
The tourist's eye view of Japan grates (all live sushi and sidelined indigenous characters) as much as the absence of originality.
February 25, 2016
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
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
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
It's a very by-the-numbers movie, and Aokigahara becomes just another generic creepy forest that might as well be fictional.
February 24, 2016
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 22, 2016
The silly, hand-me-down scares just don't chill.
January 21, 2016
With no compelling characters, scares, or plot points to redeem The Forest, the best option for those ​curious about Aokigahara is probably to watch a 20-minute 2005 VICE documentary about it.
January 14, 2016
Pretty bad, even for a January release.
January 14, 2016
"The Forest" delivers as a healthy dose of psychological cinematic terror and an impressive first feature directing effort.
January 14, 2016
The snap of a twig, the rustle of a branch - that's about as scary as it gets in The Forest, a supernatural horror movie afraid of its own shadow.
January 10, 2016
Any compelling sense of unease is ultimately undone as the film gradually settles for tedious schlock.
January 9, 2016
Potential is buried so deeply within "The Forest" that is registers as mere ghostly whispers of a film far better than this ghoulishly graceless one.
January 8, 2016
The Forest boasts a promising premise but squanders most of its goodwill as a result of narrative shortcuts and contrivances, horror film clichs, and haphazard editing.
January 8, 2016
Ambiguity is good in a horror movie, but with this many plot elements elbowing each other for room, none of them achieve enough clarity to be properly terrifying.
January 8, 2016
At least Dormer can now tick "scream queen" off her list of thankless jobs aspiring young actresses often have to do to establish themselves.
January 8, 2016
Not a total misfire, but this first feature from Jason Zada fails to capitalize on its fine setup, its competent cast, and its exquisite location.
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