20 user 30 critic

The Forest of Love (2019)

Ai-naki mori de sakebe (original title)
TV-MA | | Crime, Drama, Horror | 11 October 2019 (USA)
A small group of student filmmakers and a shy young girl with strict parents are simultaneously manipulated, seduced and abused by an older man. They follow his bidding, even when murder is involved.


Sion Sono


Sion Sono




Cast overview, first billed only:
Kippei Shîna ... Joe Murata
Shinnosuke Mitsushima ... Shin
Kyoko Hinami Kyoko Hinami ... Taeko
Eri Kamataki Eri Kamataki ... Mitsuko
Young Dais
Natsuki Kawamura Natsuki Kawamura
Yuzuka Nakaya Yuzuka Nakaya
Dai Hasegawa Dai Hasegawa
Chiho Fujii Chiho Fujii
Tsukino Yamamoto Tsukino Yamamoto
Manaka Kinoshita Manaka Kinoshita
Miyu Kinoshita Miyu Kinoshita
Yuki Nagashima
Gaku Sano Gaku Sano
Takato Yonemoto ... Goto
Learn more

More Like This 

The Forest of Love: Deep Cut (TV Series 2020)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Nothing is as it seems when a charismatic conman and an aspiring film crew delve into the lives of two emotionally scarred women.

Stars: Chiho Fujii, Kyoko Hinami, Shinnosuke Mitsushima
Antiporno (2016)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Japan's oldest major movie studio asks a batch of venerable filmmakers to revive its high-brow soft-core Roman Porno series.

Director: Sion Sono
Stars: Ami Tomite, Mariko Tsutsui, Fujiko
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Manami is captured by blood thirsty trigger happy vampires, and taken to their hotel, where they keep prisoners as future meals. They are all instructed to find a partner to survive, when a vampire clan from Transylvania interferes.

Director: Sion Sono
Stars: Yumi Adachi, Joey Iwanaga, Izumi
Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A renegade film crew becomes embroiled with a yakuza clan feud.

Director: Sion Sono
Stars: Jun Kunimura, Fumi Nikaidô, Shin'ichi Tsutsumi
Suicide Club (2001)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A detective is trying to find the cause of a string of suicides.

Director: Sion Sono
Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Masatoshi Nagase, Mai Hosho
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

The Bastard and the Beautiful World is an omnibus film consisting of four episodes. (1) Fujiko is running as fast as she can, being chased after by a creepy masked man called Mad Dog. They ... See full summary »

Directors: Naruhiro Gonpa, Yûichi Kodama, and 6 more credits »
Stars: Shinnosuke Mitsushima, Machiko Ono, Fumika Baba
Love Exposure (2008)
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A bizarre love triangle forms between a young Catholic upskirt photographer, a misandric girl and a manipulative cultist.

Director: Sion Sono
Stars: Takahiro Nishijima, Hikari Mitsushima, Sakura Andô
Cold Fish (2010)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The lives of a bored suburban couple are changed forever when a seemingly nice old man gives their daughter a job at his fish store, and soon his gruesome hobbies are brought to light.

Director: Sion Sono
Stars: Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Denden, Asuka Kurosawa
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A grisly murder occurs in Maruyama-cho, Shibuya, Tokyo - a love hotel district - a woman was found dead in a derelict apartment. Kazuko (Miki Mizuno) is a police officer called to ... See full summary »

Director: Sion Sono
Stars: Miki Mizuno, Makoto Togashi, Megumi Kagurazaka
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The erotic novelist Taeko is writing a morbid story of a family destroyed by incest, murder and abuse. Her assistant, Yuji, sets on a mission to uncover the reality of this story, but the reality might be too much to bear.

Director: Sion Sono
Stars: Masumi Miyazaki, Issei Ishida, Rie Kuwana
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Manami goes out to celebrate her 22nd birthday with friends and narrowly misses being killed in a spree murder. But her plight is far from over. Two vampires, K, from the Dracula clan and ... See full summary »

Stars: Ami Tomite, Yumi Adachi, Ami Fukuda
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A teenager called Noriko Shimabara runs away from her family in Tokoyama, to meet Kumiko, the leader of an Internet BBS, Haikyo.com. She becomes involved with Kumiko's "family circle", ... See full summary »

Director: Sion Sono
Stars: Kazue Fukiishi, Tsugumi, Yuriko Yoshitaka


A small group of student filmmakers and a shy young girl with strict parents are simultaneously manipulated, seduced and abused by an older man. They follow his bidding, even when murder is involved.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

netflix | See All (1) »


TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Based on the real life serial killings of Futoshi Matsunaga. See more »


When Shin is unable to kill Murata and drives away, he is wearing a blue shirt. A few minutes later, after he stops to pick up a young women with car trouble, he gets out of the car wearing a different, blue and white striped shirt. See more »


References Barbarella (1968) See more »

User Reviews

It's Sion Sono's World, We're Just Living In It.
6 January 2020 | by truemythmediaSee all my reviews

Sion Sono is a director whom I respect immensely. Much like Takashi Miike, Sono is incredibly prolific, and his films, even when they aren't great, are always incredibly entertaining. Both Sono and Miike's films run the gamut as far as genre- they flit back and forth easily from mystery/thrillers (Sono- "Suicide Club", Miike- "Ichi the Killer") to sci-fi (Sono- "Tag", Miike- "As the Gods Will") to horror (Sono- "Cold Fish", Miike- "Audition") to comedy (Sono- "Love, Exposure", Miike- "The Happiness of the Katakuris") and every genre in between. While I really enjoy films from both directors, recently, it's been Sono's work that I've been most drawn to. Sono's films are bizarre, violent, and sometimes hilarious dips into cinema, and every time I watch one of his films I honestly can't predict what will happen next.

"The Forest of Love" is based on a (somewhat) true story. I say somewhat because the events that are depicted in this film did happen, but not in the totally bonkers way they are portrayed here. Sono stylizes his violence as much as Tarantino does in "Kill Bill Vol 1", and while there might not as high of a body count, the amount of gore that Sono gleefully throws at the viewer makes it difficult to think of the victims as... well, victims. The way Sono kills people off in this film feels as if it would be far more at home in a Dario Argento giallo film ("Deep Red" or "Tenebre") than it does in a biopic about a cult of personality gone awry. I had to keep reminding myself that these were real people, and some of the events they went through were incredibly disturbing. In a way, it's weird to watch this film when it clearly finds joy in depicting some of the more graphic details of this murder spree. Usually, films that depict horrific events like this do so with a bit of reverence for the victims, and this film is anything but reverent, and that tone takes a bit of getting used to.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 20 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

11 October 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Forest of Love See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Netflix See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Recently Viewed