Review: The Forest

I never really get the chance to see many horror movies because no one in my life wants to see one with me, so I had mixed feelings going into this one because I don’t know a lot about scary movies. I’ve seen maybe a half dozen, and I get the gist of how most are supposed to go down, but I was worried about being too inexperienced with the horror genre to know whether or not this was a good movie.

So I bought a ticket to an afternoon showing. Behind me was an older woman in her 60s, enthusiastically telling me that she was buying a ticket to see The Revenant. I smiled, partly because I really enjoyed The Revenant, and partly because the thought of a 60-year-old lady watching DiCaprio getting mauled by a bear was kinda funny. I was the only person to buy a ticket to see The Forest so I got a theatre to myself for the very first scary movie I saw in theaters. That meant that if I got scared by this movie, there would be no comfort in knowing that there were a couple of people in the same room as me.

 

However, unfortunately, this movie kind of sucked.

 

There were some parts that freaked me out, most of them being jump scares that made no sense, but the majority of the movie is filled with bad acting, horror cliches, and people making stupid decisions.

I haven’t seen very much of Natalie Dormer’s previous work because I don’t watch Game of Thrones and I didn’t watch The Tudors. I saw her play that girl in Captain America: First Avenger that reminded me of my ex-girlfriend, and she was acceptable as her role in Mockingjay Part 1 & 2, but in this movie, she was terrible.

The first half of the movie, she reminded me more of a wooden plank than an actual human being, let alone an interesting and developing character. The second half of the movie, she got better at delivering her lines, but I was constantly distracted by her suddenly coming down with a bad case of the stupid.

Not to mention the first half of the movie seems completely unnecessary because it was just a bunch of exposition and background information that explains why an otherwise normal girl would go into the “suicide forest”. I just wish that they made the story more interesting, or the dialogue less lame, or they threw out the director of this movie and replaced him with someone that could make me care whenever Dormer was in danger. But because they didn’t do that, the few times Dormer’s character gets close to death, all I could think was “Meh”.

Now I know with a lot of horror movies, they have the characters do things that make no sense so that it gets them closer to the danger so that a zombie face can jump out and scare you, but does it take anyone else out of the movie when you’re constantly thinking of simple ways they could escape the danger? I spent a lot of the movie trying to coach our two characters, Sarah (Dormer) and Aiden (some dude I’ve never seen before), through getting scared poopless by forest ghosts. Send me in to find the missing girl, coach! I’m ready!

Not to mention the scares that do happen in this movie are mostly predictable. Whenever a scare queue comes in, I saw it coming 15 seconds in advance…. and I haven’t seen many scary movies.

 

I get the feeling though, that many horror fans have a lower standard than I do for logic in horror characters and just want to see someone bite it at the hands of a crazy, ghoulish, or supernatural entity. Well, you’ll probably like this movie then.

There are moments that did really scare me, but I decided long before the ending of the movie that regardless of whether Sarah got out alive or not, whether she found her sister or not, I didn’t care. That made a lot of the scenes that would’ve been scary otherwise  boring instead.

I guess it also doesn’t hurt to mention that I thought the ending was kind of stupid.

I wish that more horror movies cared about making a fluent horror universe where the terrible things that are happening make sense. Maybe the horror formula needs things to not make sense… I don’t know. Somebody who watches a lot of horror movies let me know. Anyway, I wasn’t the biggest fan, and I’m giving this movie a 4 out of 10.

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