Dumping Month claims The Forest (2016)

forestStudios have traditionally released their worst movies in January, and that includes The Forest (2016), unfortunately.  This movie stars the gorgeous Natalie Dormer and she is the only reason I saw this movie, I can tell you that much.  Ever since It Follows, I’ve seen crap-all from the horror genre, and it’s getting on my nerves.  No studio has the balls to go beyond the superficial teenie-bopper mold, but starting with Natalie Dormer is always a plus.  Too bad almost everything else is crap about The Forest.

The film is set in a weird forest called Aokigahara in Japan, which is a great setting and has plenty of mood.  The camera work zooms in and uses darkness like you might expect, but the director stops short of making a tense experience because he employs the same boring jump-scares you can see in every other horror movie out recently.  With the use of these camera jump-scares, the movie doesn’t feel the need to do anything else, which is disappointing.

Natalie Dormer plays Sara, who goes to Japan to find her sister, who has disappeared without a trace.  She seemingly has this stupid psychic connection or bond with her sister or something.  It didn’t make sense to me.  While in Japan, most of the movie feels like the stupid remake of The Grudge, where the Americans feel isolated and uneasy in their new home.  The characters in both movies experience culture shock, which is effective, but The Grudge and The Forest don’t do much with this theme.  Too bad.  

Sara eventually searches The Forest (in caps) for her sister, with the help of a local idiot.  Anyway, she gets more visions and stupidness ensues.  The rest of the movie is beyond stupid, as it descends into a chase and run from a monster, as you might expect.  The premise for this movie seemed to have great potential, but there’s nothing to it.  It’s like painting a door on your wall and expecting to wall through.  You can’t.  It’s fake.

In all, this movie is dumb.  Natalie Dormer tries to do her best, but there’s no real character development or themes to explore.  She plays a dual role as her sister, but it doesn’t really matter because the movie doesn’t even explore the weirdo stuff behind the superstitions of twins.  Dormer just gets the bugeyes as Jess and underplays Sara for some contrast.  There’s a few good jokes, but that’s it.  This is what we call your standard January movie.