It's safe to say that 2015 was not a good year for the horror genre. From the highly anticipated disaster we call Sinister 2, to the utter failure of the Poltergeist remake, fans have been disappointed, to say the least. It was as if 2015 was a gaping hole, where horror movies went to die. 2016 just filled that hole, and brought us The Forest, which has all of the qualities we love in a traditional scary movie, along with a fresh new idea. Let's hope this is a sign of what's to come this year!
The truth behind the Aokigahara Forest is what is truly disturbing, and knowing that truth gives the movie a realistic feel. Given that the folklore that inspired the movie gravitates hundreds of people annually towards the forest with the intention to take their own lives, I can say this is truly a movie inspired by true events, which is more than I can say about any other horror movie stating the same. Preventative measures include signs at the entrance of the forest urging potential victims to turn around and think of their loved ones. Searches are conducted regularly to retrieve bodies, and help people escape the woods should they decide life is worth living.
We all know the plot- Sarah goes into the Aokigahara Forest to find her missing sister, presumed dead, given the Forests' reputation. What happens within the forest is what is truly scary. While it lacks scare tactics made popular in the last several years, (which always seem to include possession, or a quick screen jump to create a panic) it brings back the anticipation of something lingering in the dark. It gives you the opportunity to put yourself in the characters situation; you have time to think about your heart pounding out of your chest in between scares. The Forest relies on your darkest fears to scare you. The question is, can you trust your own mind, or will it be what ultimately kills you?