Overall I feel like we have actually gotten a pretty decent January as it usually comprises of the most loathsome movies you could possibly imagine - and this is especially the case for the horror genre ('The Devil Inside' anyone?). But from what I was expecting, I can definitely say this is one of the stronger January's in recent memory. However, that does not mean we do not still get those stinkers, we certainly did and 'The Forest' is most definitely one of them.

The one word that entered my head as the movie started - was the same word I had when the movie ended = pathetic. 'The Forest' feels just like what a young person who grew up on modern horror movies (and modern horror movies only) would end up writing and directing once he or she got in the business. We have everything here you could imagine. Jump scares without any build up or established tension. A famous actress in the lead role in the midst of a bunch of C-listers. A silly premise that is difficult to take seriously. Mind-numbingly silly and desperate editing just to squeeze a couple of more jumps out of the audience. And of course, who could forget the most important trope of them all, poor use of CGI. The only thing it had going for it is that it is not found footage, but really that should not be all it takes to count as a positive. It is kind of amazing that we have entered 2016 and we still have not left this age but if there is anything I can praise it for - it is that it makes me appreciate movies like 'The Conjuring' and 'The Babadook' so much more.

From a production value point of view at first I was somewhat impressed as I knew it had a budget of a mere $10 million and the first 10 minutes show scenes in what I can only assume is Tokyo as well as several different locations in a short period of time and I was wondering how the rest of the movie was going to pan out... but then I remembered this movie was called 'The Forest'. And what do you know, a lion's share of the total screentime takes place in a boring and dull looking forward with poor color grading to make it look darker and "creepier" than it really is. When you get right down to it, it is just a forest.

The performances are nothing outstanding. Natalie Dormer brings nothing to the role and I doubt she is even really trying in comparison to what she does on 'Game of Thrones'. The other actors in the movie are also nothing special and just comes across as "those guys" that you see in horror movies like 'The House at the End of the Street' starring Jennifer Lawrence or 'The Boy Next Door' starring Jennifer Lopez. Nevertheless they bring nothing to an already empty movie on almost every front.

Overall, 'The Forest' is a shoddy piece of tripe that has all of the hallmarks that we see in most bad modern horror movies. The script is poorly thought out, the dialogue is on the nose and incredibly childish in its attempt to sound "mature". Then the ending comes that I think everybody naturally saw coming a mile away but it just emphasizes how little this movie has to offer even under the most basic of scrutiny. I am glad they did not at least try to pull a bigger twist just for the sake of it being a twist no matter if it does not make any sense. But it does not change the fact that this is just a terrible movie.


- Lucas


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