A while ago, YouTube star and professional fuckhead Logan Paul got some flack for taking a web-video in the infamous Aokigahara forest in Japan, which is known as a spot where people go to kill themselves. People reacted strongly and he got ads pulled and he got temporarily banned from YouTube – though in the time it's taken us to do this review, he's now unfortunately back on YouTube and doing whatever he wants again, which proves to me that there is no God.
But did you know that's NOT the only time the suicide forest has been used distastefully in shitty media? Here's a review of the awful horror movie called The Forest.
Director: Jason Zada
Starring: Natalie Dormer, Eoin Macken
Co-written with Michelle.
This is just another rock-bottom, dumb-ass horror movie full of cliches. The message is something like 'be afraid of foreign countries.' After all, America is the only normal place. Everywhere else is just a breeding ground for superstitions and myths that turn out to be true. Stay home and turn on your TV and lock the door! Renew that Amazon subscription!
I guess this is about some woman, Sara, played by Game of Thrones and Hunger Games actor Natalie Dormer, who wants to go all the way to Japan to search for her missing sister. Her reasoning is, apparently, that her sister MIGHT HAVE gone into the suicide forest! Why does she think this? Pure speculation. Like yeah, I'm sure whatever you think happened IS what really happened! Because why have any surprises? That's for wimps and weenies.
So she does go, and along the way, as it goes, runs into some extremely weak-ass jump scares – seriously, they're so soft it's like the movie didn't want to wake up mom and dad napping in the other room but still wanted to have a loud screamy jump scare.
Honestly, she wastes a lot of time when she gets there, just sitting in a bar and looking at the forest but not going in. It doesn't seem like she's really all that interested in finding her sister. I guess she goes to some school her sister worked at, where a girl faints and thinks she IS her sister, and nobody tells the girl she's a twin until later – it's just more fun that way, if you can scare a kid. All of this shit just seems like a waste of time. Didn't she know beforehand that she wanted to look at the fucking forest? Why are we wasting time with all of this other nonsense?
Huh? What's that? Oh, it's just been explained to me that the movie is trite hack work and is padding out the runtime so as not to be a short film. Okay. Carry on, then.
She meets a few other silly characters, like a stereotypical elderly Japanese woman who works near the forest and just... shows her some fucking dead suicide bodies for no reason. How nice of her! The hospitality here is just through the roof! Oh, and don't forget that despite everyone speaking perfect English, to throw in “Konnichiwa” every chance you get just as the bare minimum to remind you we're in Japan. But if that wasn't enough to convince you, there's also some Japanese “mysticism” speeches about screaming spirits and other stuff that sounds cool if you're racist against Asian people and think this is all they talk about.
I guess the REAL “meat” of the movie, if you can call this rotting roadkill “meat,” begins when she runs into this random dude at a bar who starts telling her he'd met her sister and can lead her into the suicide forest. Uh, if this is slang in Japan for “I want to sleep with you,” then I guess this dude is being honest. Either that or he's a horrible opportunistic piece of garbage who somehow got REALLY lucky this one time.
They team up with another random dude to go in. Who are these guys with all this free time? They apparently have no obligations or family or anything. I personally would have asked some questions – they spend ALL FUCKING DAY with her in the woods, at the drop of a hat, with no real preparations. I think these guys are probably fucking lazy bums who have no jobs and contribute nothing to society.
They find a random tent in the woods after walking all day (which Sara is SURE is her sister's! And it is!), and then the one random Japanese guy with them wants to turn back and come back tomorrow. Well then how would you ever get anything done??? It took you all goddamn day to get HERE. Are you just trying to waste time? There are better ways to get your cardio in, you know.
After this, I'll be honest, the movie just kind of turns into mush. We get the truly ridiculous story of how her sister apparently thought the forest was “romantic,” and how one time years ago she didn't answer the phone, and so I guess that's enough to deduce that she killed herself. There's also some story about how they once saw their parents die, and because the sister didn't look away, THAT made her adventurous and want to go do weird stuff all the time. Brilliant! Someone call Freud and tell him he's a hack and he's done! We have a new paradigm of modern psychology and it is The Forest! Oh my God!
There's a lot of screaming and running around in the dark, as the movie is so poorly lit it's near impossible to tell what's happening a lot of the time. She ends up killing herself in a hallucination, and the movie predictably ends with some cops seeing her ghost at the end – ooooOOOOooooh, spooky! I mean, if you're a kid in a shitty haunted house. Who has been sheltered your whole life and never allowed to watch anything besides kids programming.
This is horrible. There's absolutely nothing we liked about it – in fact, it makes what Logan Paul did look like carefully considered, culturally sensitive art-school stuff. I hate this movie and you shouldn't watch it.