THE FOR­EST

Dead wood

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased 26 fe­bru­ary 15 ( TBC) | TBC min­utes

Di­rec­tor Ja­son Zada

Cast Natalie Dormer, Tay­lor

Kin­ney, Eoin Macken

The Aoki­ga­hara for­est, near the base of Mount Fuji in Ja­pan, is in­fa­mous for the in­or­di­nate amount of sui­cides that oc­cur there, and should lend it­self to spec­tac­u­larly mor­bid cin­e­matic homages. Sadly, this isn’t one.

Natalie Dormer plays dual roles as no- non­sense Sara and her wilder sis­ter Jesse, both tor­mented by their par­ents’ un­re­solved deaths. When Jesse goes miss­ing in Aoki­ga­hara, Sara takes a 6,000- mile trip to find her. Aided by a hand­some stranger ( Tay­lor Kin­ney) who may be a killer, she trav­els deep into the woods, get­ting spooked by her own dark past as well as all man­ner of off- the- rack Asian ghosts.

First- time di­rec­tor Ja­son Zada takes a stab at claus­tro­pho­bic, sur­real hor­ror, and a few shots of fog- choked trees and omi­nous ice caves nearly chill the blood, but with only two main char­ac­ters – nei­ther of whom garner much in­ter­est – there’s not a lot of room for body count or sud­den deaths. There is, how­ever, plenty of time to tromp around in the woods, and that’s ba­si­cally all this movie is: a tire­some hike that leads to a cheap, cop- out end­ing.

Your last weekend camp­ing trip had more thrills and chills. Ken McIn­tyre

Sta­tis­tics about sui­cides in Aoki­ga­hara are no longer pub­lished, but in 2003 ( the last year they were), there were 105.

Watch out for the guy on your right!

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