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Horror - Ghosts

The Forest (2016)

Duration1h 33m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: PG-13, Spain: 16.
Source of storyAn original screenplay inspired by the existence of the actual Aokigahara forest
DirectorJason Zada
Writers/ScriptNick Antosca, Sarah Cornwell, Ben Ketal
StarringNatalie Dormer, Eoin Macken, Taylor Kinney, Yukiyoshi Ozawa,
RatingsIMDb:  4.8 by 39,464. Rotten Tomatoes: 10% by 137 reviewers.

Elevator Pitch: Sara Price receives news from the Japanese police that her twin sister Jesse has disappeared in the Aokigahara forest, in the foothills of Mount Fuji. To find her Sara travels to the place and, while staying in the local hotel, meets an American who says he will help her, and introduces her to a Japanese guide, whose main job is searching the forest in search of suicides. Sara is told never to leave the paths, never to stay out in the forest in the night and finally not to believe everything  she sees. The three set out, and the first thing they do is leave the path, but later they find Jesse’s tent, requiring Sara and Aiden to stay out overnight and then there are the ghosts and the hallucinations.

Content: No sex or nudity, but some drinking in the Japanese hotel. There are flashbacks to events in the twins past when their father shoots their mother and then himself.  Natalie Dormer plays both twins, Sara is a blonde, Jesse has black hair. Sara travels to the station close to Mount Fuji, then once searching the forest she, Aiden and Michi stumble about seemingly aimlessly, but do find the tent. After this Sara occasionally perceives Aiden as being on her side and sometimes not, and shadowy figures are often visible watching her. She falls into a hole in the forest floor where she is confronted by a ghost. In a hut in the forest things come to a head.

A View: This film was panned by the critics but nevertheless covered is production costs on its first weekend and made money. It is seen as being insensitive to the actual events which occur in the Japanese forest, which for some reason, really is a suicide destination for depressed Japanese people. Also it is not very scary, and in my view a bit confused – although of course I might have failed to understand the plot. I also see that it is quite an expensive download at present so probably only a view for nothing if you are a horror fan.

Additional Info: The following is addressed to potential suicides at the entrance to the forest: “Your life is a precious gift from your parents. Please think about your parents, siblings and children. Don’t keep problems to yourself. Talk about your troubles.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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