Jason Zada’s The Forest revolves around Aokigahara, a 14-mile forest that sits in the shadow of Mount Fuji. It’s also known as the Suicide Forest because hundreds of people have killed themselves there over a twenty-five year period.
As if that weren’t horrifying enough, according to Japanese mythology the forest is demon-plagued.
Heck, the movie almost writes itself, which is why I was dismayed to read a review from FilmBook, which pretty much says that the movie shat the bed, replacing any sort of tension and horror with jump scares.
It amazes me–if the review is accurate–how filmmakers can take events, places and things that are actually horrific, and somehow make them less so. The review reminds me of Ouija, a not-very-good movie that somehow managed to make a terrifying object–just looking at ouija boards gives me the willies–boring (luckily the sequel is being directed by Mike Flanagan, who knows a thing or two about horror, having directed Oculus).
And that’s not that an easy thing to do.