January and February is notorious for releasing bad horror films, and by no means is Jason Zedas directorial debut The Forest one of those bad horror films, unfortunately its not a great one either, its quite forgettable.
The Forest stars Game of Thrones and Hunger Games actress Natalie Dormer, in her first starring role playing twin Sara who goes to Japan in search of her missing sister last seen walking into a forest notorious for being a place where people go to kill themselves. When there she quickly discovers that the forest is famous for being haunted and she must enter it to find her sister with the help of stranger Aiden, played by Taylor Kinney.
Nothing in The Forest is particularly ground breaking, from its use of shaky-cam to its jump scare dream sequences involving ghosts, everything is very familiar about this film. However Zedas does a great job building suspense throughout, making you care about this character and her journey to find her sister. He also raises some interesting questions about the Forest that unfortunately the film never really answers, nor it seems to know how to answer.
Although not the best performance of her career, Dormer is passable as lead Sara as we learn about her rocky relationship with her twin sister Jess, also played by Dormer. Although the scenes where Dormer is acting across herself are hoaky, she does a good job of distinguishing her self between the two characters.
Taylor Kinney is also passable as the mysterious Aiden. The film handles his character perfectly keeping you guessing throughout of what his true intentions are playing with the psychological nature of the Forest.
The Pacing is also done quite well for two thirds of the film before it resorts to generic shaky cam madness in the films conclusion. The runtime of 90 minutes feels perfect for a horror such as this, never feeling rushed.
The Forest is quite watchable, creating good suspense and making you care about the story. Unfortunately the film lets itself down in the final third with a generic rushed ending that has been used time and time again, making the film quite forgettable.
By Simon Hanson