10 items from 2016
Rising with terrifying grandeur, the forest is real – and it is the suspense-filled setting of The Forest, a frightening supernatural thriller on Digital HD now, and on Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand on April 12, 2016 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The Forest on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD comes with terrifying bonus features including behind-the-scenes photos and feature commentary with director Jason Zada.
A young woman’s hunt for her missing sister leads to horror and madness in The Forest, starring Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games) and Taylor Kinney (Chicago Fire, Zero Dark Thirty). When her troubled twin sister Jess mysteriously disappears, Sara Price (Dormer) discovers Jess vanished in Japan’s legendary Aokigahara Forest. Searching its eerie dark woods with the help of journalist Aiden (Kinney), Sara plunges into a tormented world where angry spirits lie in wait for those who ignore the warning: stay on the path. »
- Movie Geeks
What could have been a solid, scary horror with deep psychological roots ends up being a by the numbers chiller with painfully inevitable plotting, no long lasting scares and a curious lack of atmosphere for something set in an infamously haunted suicide forest. At times there is some flirtation with excellence – like the intriguing idea of naive lead Sara’s unravelling psychological horror echoing her past – but it’s not artfully handled enough and the promise goes away to nothing.
The enduring feeling left by The Forest is one of missed potential. There was some promise of a not-exactly-clever, but satisfying twist that would have had the her missing twin »
- Simon Gallagher
Viewers will soon be able to visit Japan’s Aokigahara Forest from the comfort of their couches with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s March 22nd Digital HD debut of The Forest, followed by their April 12th Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD release of the Natalie Dormer-starring film.
Press Release: Universal City, California, February 25, 2016 – Rising with terrifying grandeur, the forest is real – and it is the suspense-filled setting of The Forest, a frightening supernatural thriller coming to Digital HD on March 22, 2016, and on Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand on April 12, 2016 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The Forest on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD comes with terrifying bonus features including behind-the-scenes photos and feature commentary with director Jason Zada.
A young woman’s hunt for her missing sister leads to horror and madness in The Forest, starring Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games) and Taylor Kinney (Chicago Fire, Zero Dark Thirty »
- Derek Anderson
Stars: Natalie Dormer, Taylor Kinney, Yukiyoshi Ozawa, Eoin Macken, Stephanie Vogt, Yasuo Tobishima, Noriko Sakura, Yûho Yamashita, Lidija Antonic | Written by Nick Antosca, Sarah Cornwell, Ben Ketai | Directed by Jason Zada
After her sister is reported missing, Sara (Natalie Dormer), journeys from her home in the Us to Japan in search of her twin sister Jess, who was last seen heading to Aokigahara – the infamous suicide forest at the base of Mount Fuji. After a visit to the school where Jess teaches, the resourceful Sara sets out for the forest itself. Accompanied by a charismatic new acquaintance, expatriate journalist Aiden (Taylor Kinney), she enters the forest having been well warned to “stay on the path.” Forest guide Michi (Yukiyoshi Ozawa) keeps a protective eye on them both, but when night falls he cannot dissuade them from staying in the forest, and reluctantly leaves the duo to face the elements alone. »
- Phil Wheat
Coming after Gus Van Sant’s critically torpedoed Sea of Trees, The Forest is the second recent movie to be set in Aokigahara, the mythic forest located at the base of Mt. Fuji, which has come to be known as the Suicide Forest. It’s a natural monument of cultural and historical significance in Japan’s history, and now, its own repeating ghost story as individuals return there with the express purpose to end their life.
That’s the thematic undercurrent for Jason Zada’s The Forest, a movie that attempts to capitalize on Aokigahara for a story of shared horror, but mostly just settles on a disposable ninety minutes of monster closets and diminishing sanity. As the story begins, Sara (Natalie Dormer) abruptly wakes up, feeling a mysterious disturbance with her twin sister despite being thousands of miles away. She impulsively hops on a flight to her sister’s last known location, »
- Michael Snydel
For the Trees: Zada’s Moody Locale Squandered by Feeble Narrative
We’ve come to expect studios to unbosom their less desirable horror trinkets during the dawning of every new year, and the annual tradition is alive and well with the equivocally titled The Forest from first time director Jason Zada. On a positive note, it’s a return to more traditional formatting, a move away from the found footage items we usually find released in this quarter (The Devil Inside; Devil’s Due), and it’s also not a remake or a dubious sequel (The Last Exorcism Part II). But Zada’s film is the second English language film revealed over the past year to waste its singularly spooky locale, Japan’s Aokigahara Forest at the base of Mt. Fuji (the first being Gus Van Sant’s Cannes blooper, Sea of Trees, which may explain this horror film’s »
- Nicholas Bell
Here are the films opening theatrically in the U.S. the week of Friday, January 8. All synopses provided by distributor unless listed otherwise. Wide The Forest Director: Jason Zada Cast: Natalie Dormer, Taylor Kinney, Yukiyoshi Ozawa, Eoin Macken Synopsis: "Rising with terrifying grandeur at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan, the legendary real-life Aokigahara Forest is the suspense-filled setting of the supernatural thriller. A young American woman, Sara, journeys there in search of her twin sister, who has mysteriously disappeared. In the company of expatriate Aiden, Sara enters the forest having been well warned to “stay on the path.” Determined to discover the truth about her sister’s fate, Sara will have to face the angry and tormented souls of the dead that prey on anyone who dares come near them. These malevolent spirits lying in wait for Sara at every turn will plunge her into a frightening darkness »
- Steve Greene
Something bad…..evil, happens in Japan’s Aokigahara Forest, a (real) destination popular for those looking for a scenic place to commit suicide. The sheer bad vibes of those woods have trapped its many victims inside as moldy ghosts that haunt people who dare enter. Such ghost stories are common in every storytelling culture, of course, but the Japanese have a long tradition of taking vengeful spirits seriously, in life as well as in art. The Forest, a new Hollywood film set in this foggy Japanese woodland is basically a haunted house film, replacing the house with a forest, but despite one or two mild scares, it never generates much tension and is only notable for being the first lousy horror film of 2016 (I’m sure there will be more).
- Tom Stockman
Japan’s Aokigahara forest has long been a notoriously frequent suicide spot for troubled locals, but over the past year it’s also become a fashionable destination for American filmmakers looking to milk hallucinatory thrills and anguished tears from this beautifully foreboding stretch of woodland. Arriving in theaters several months after Gus Van Sant’s “The Sea of Trees” bombed at the Cannes Film Festival, “The Forest” can’t help but benefit from the comparison: It may be a cut-rate showcase for good-looking imperiled Westerners and J-horror scares (where the “J” might just as well stand for “January”), but the whitewashing here at least feels more honest, and first-time director Jason Zada does generate an intermittently spooky sense of mystery that not even the muddled scripting can fully demolish.
- Justin Chang
Sara (Game of Thrones' Natalie Dormer) wants answers about the vanishing of her sister, but her determination could be her downfall in the eerie Aokigahara Forest. New photos and clips from Gramercy Pictures' The Forest offer a glimpse into the new horror film ahead of its January 8th theatrical release.
"Rising with terrifying grandeur at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan, the legendary real-life Aokigahara Forest is the suspense-filled setting of the supernatural thriller. A young American woman, Sara (Natalie Dormer of “Game of Thrones” and “The Hunger Games”), journeys there in search of her twin sister, who has mysteriously disappeared. In the company of expatriate Aiden (Taylor Kinney of “Chicago Fire”), Sara enters the forest having been well warned to “stay on the path.” Determined to discover the truth about her sister’s fate, Sara will have to face the angry and tormented souls of the dead »
- Derek Anderson
10 items from 2016
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