ByPaul Donovan, writer at
A jerk with an opinion. An explorer of transgressive cinema. See more things about movies at
Paul Donovan

January is when movie studios release films to quietly die. This movie not only died, it killed itself.

There is a forest in Japan, named Aokigahara, which is a popular place for people to go in order to commit suicide. It is a real place. And now it's the basis for what is already one of the worst films of 2016. The movie makes absolutely no sense.

This is the real Aokigahara forest.
This is the real Aokigahara forest.

This is an incredibly amateur paint-by-number horror movie. This is what the filmmakers must have said:
"Let's make a horror movie about that one forest in Japan. But we need to make sure there's a dark hallway with some flickering lights. And we need a cute little girl to suddenly turn into a demon. Actually, let's do that a few times. And, um, we need the main character to fall down. A lot. And at the very end, right before the credits, let's have a scary person rush toward the camera. OK, are we good? Let's go make this movie!"

It's about a lady named Sara (played by Natalie Dormer), who has a twin sister named Jess. Jess lives in Japan. Sara gets a call from Japanese police saying Jess was spotted going into Aokigahara forest. But the police won't go look for her because she went into the forest, so she's probably dead and they will leave the body there.

Sara uses her twin-sister powers to figure out that Jess isn't really dead. So she flies to Japan to look for her. She first goes to a visitor center at the forest that recovers the dead bodies of people who committed suicide there. But they don't give the bodies to the police, they just keep them in the basement and watch them, so they don't start screaming or something.

She also meets Aiden, an Australian with an American accent. He tells her he can't be in the woods alone with her, because he would get lost. Then he stays in the forest alone with her.

Sara seems to make every decision by picking the option that makes the least sense. She also must have an infinite battery in her phone so that she can use it forever as a flashlight in all the dark places she goes.

She's so dumb that I began hoping for her death, so it would at least have a happy ending.

A lot of the movie is just people walking around in the forest. Since the movie itself is completely not-scary, we get to see Sara's dreams, which are supposed to be weird and scary. But they are just regular horror movie dreams.

It was directed by Jason Zada, who works on websites and Facebook apps.

This is his first movie. Let's hope it's his last.

He actually turned down scholarships to film school because he wanted to learn things on his own. Bad idea, Jason.

Considering the fact that the "suicide forest" is real, the movie is kind of exploitative and insensitive.

This is a boring, lazy, stupid, predictable movie with bad acting and cheap jump scares. Do yourself a favor. Instead of watching this movie, go to the nearest forest and walk around for 95 minutes. You'll have more fun.

What do you think? Was it scary to you? Add some points below!


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