Rated: PG-13 for disturbing thematic content and images. Reviewed by: Frank Release date: January 8, 2016 Released by: Gramercy Pictures
The Forest is a sleepy horror film, it's easier to fall asleep during this dull work than to be frightened or even a little nervous about what is happening on the screen.
Natalie Dormer who plays twins, Sara/Jess Prince has some solid credentials and it's surprising that she was willing to attempt to carry this dreary failure. As Sara she is determined to enter The Forest a place in Japan where discouraged people go to commit suicide. We are never allowed to learn why sister Jess headed into The Forest the script just brings Sara into the dark place where she bravely decides to stay in a tent over night waiting for Jess to return. Some help comes from Rob (Eoin Macken) who she meets in a bar the night before her excursion begins. Rob joins her and reminds her she must stay on the pathway or dark things will happen to her.
We see zombie looking creatures moving around the dark forest which remind us that many people have decided to head to the dangerous place to end their lives. Sara is not interested in ending her life, she wants to save her sister Jess who has entered to scary place, we assume, to end her life. Sara and Rob spend much of their time running from the specters that appear as the limited direction finds ways for her to fall down and in one case fall into a hole about 30 feet down below the surface of The Forest. At some point it all begins to become comical rather than thrilling.
Yuho Yamashitta appears as a young school girl offering help but later turns into just one more disfigured specter for Sara to fear. Sara may find fear in The Forest but, for us it is much more appropriate for a nap.