Movie Review: The Forest (2016)

April 17, 2016

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email: [email protected]

In Jason Zada’s supernatural film The Forest, Sara, played by Natalie Dormer, travels to Japan to search for her sister, who has disappeared into the legendary “Suicide Forest”.  With Aiden (Taylor Kinney) as her guide, they enter the forest with a man searching for those who have or are considering suicide. Sara is fueled by the connection between herself and her identical twin sister. She can sense that Jess is still alive, but finding her in the vast haunted forest below Mt. Fuji is easier said than done. Something is causing hallucinations that send her screaming into the forest and making her doubt her own sanity.


From the start, Dormer’s performance was drab. If I got a call that my sister was in the suicide forest I would be freaking out, not walking around void of any emotion. In fact I saw no emotional response until half way through the movie when things start happening to Sara herself. I found it quite ridiculous. The choices her character makes was beyond stupid. Hey, I’m in a huge haunted forest with no knowledge of how to find my way out, I should run around in the dark and leave the safety of the camp, which the guide told her was a bad idea. Oh, and let’s kill the only other person that might be able to get out of the forest why we’re at it. Seriously, people?

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There were a few great moments and some great effects, and there was a nice twist at the end, but I just couldn’t get past Dormer’s performance in the film or the choices her character made. There was so much potential with The Forest, but over all it just fell flat.



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