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WEEKEND REVIEW OF THE FOREST

year: 2016
One of those campfire tale movies where you hear a spooky story enough times it just isn't scary anymore. And by the time our lead heroine Sara Price goes from her comfortable husband-home in America to an infamous superstitious foot of a Japanese mountain, surrounded by THE FOREST where people go for one specific reason... to commit suicide, or, if they bring a tent, to contemplate the act... Just when she's about to enter this supposedly terrible place in search of her twin sister, we've heard way too much about it for the important art of suspense to mean anything.

Cutting to the chase, she quickly meets a typical handsome American guide who has less personality than anyone who died on the mountain. This isn't only a knock at the co-star actor's dreary performance but the biggest jolts occur when particular ghosts show-up in the usual hyperactive fashion that's been a terror trend for the last decade: someone or something appears in a quick jump-cut and then vanish, like a dream: In fact, THE FOREST is rather dreamlike, more so than nightmarish, and could have worked better as a supernatural thriller than a horror with supernatural elements. So what winds up on the big screen is just another potentially ominous movie, only set in a mountainous and of course, forestial region, and yet the audience, able to view the gorgeous exterior from wide-shot angles, lacks the feeling of not only being truly inside the scenery but lost and vulnerable within this potential purgatory where anything is possible and yet, very few things actually occur, frightening or otherwise.

RATING: *1/2
TRIVIA: This is the first 2016 movie reviewed on Cult Film Freak... Stop the presses and click this link (that's up top under NEW FILMS) for all new movie reviews of the past few years! And there's an 80's slasher flick with the title THE FOREST that, with millions less of a budget... many, many millions less... In fact it was probably less than a million to make... is a lot better and features a good friend, Gary Kent, as a guy who kills people in... THE FOREST.

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