by Hope Madden
I like a good twin movie as much as the next guy – probably more – but let’s be clear. The Forest is not a good twin movie. It’s not a good movie at all.
Through her freaky twin telepathy, Sara (Natalie Dormer: Hunger Games, Game of Thrones) knows something’s wrong with her sister Jess, living in Japan. She knows she’s alive and in danger, although the authorities calling to verify Jess’s missing person status believe she is dead because she’s gone alone into the suicide forest on Mount Fuji.
Well, off to Japan Sara goes, to enter the forest alone, stray from the path, see ghosts, listen to the advice of creepy school girls who appear in the middle of the forest at night (because there’s nothing at all suspicious about that), and just generally make bad choices.
Every individual has specific buttons horror movies can push. Some people are afraid of clowns, some of enclosed spaces. Some of us have a pathological terror of the woods. Some of the same of us have a twin sister. So, the idea of getting lost in the dark in a forest full of angry ghosts and ghouls as you hunt desperately for your twin sister – well, for some of us, these are buttons that should make it really easy for a movie to be scary.
Here’s what I’m saying – I am the audience for this movie, and it was as scary as an episode of Three’s Company.
Dormer’s performance is far more lifeless than those stiffs hanging from the trees, and director Jason Zada’s overreliance on jump scares and inability to develop atmosphere guarantee a tedious walk in the woods.