‘The Forest’ is the first scary movie of 2016, but does the film, with ‘Game of Thrones’ star Natalie Dormer as the lead, bring the big scares? The critics are weighing in!
Natalie Dormer, 33, heads to a Japanese forest in search of her twin sister, but she finds herself confronting terrifying paranormal forces. Will The Forest leave you shaking in your shoes? Here’s what the critics are saying!
Really, the most offensive thing about “The Forest” is that it simply isn’t better. Dormer is sympathetic enough in her double scream-queen roles, and Zada shows an occasional aptitude for generating suspense through framing, music and sound design, even if the beats he hits are often tediously familiar. And there is something nifty about the movie’s underlying notion that the Aokigahara can induce in its visitors a kind of psychotic madness, one partly rooted in the very real pain of their unresolved traumas. Sara and Jess, it turns out, have one messed-up family history, which seems fairly apparent from the minute we see an old photo of the girls posing like the Grady sisters. Yet that history is unraveled in more clumsy than crafty fashion, and the story ends with a shrug-inducing whimper; if ever a movie could have used Taylor Swift’s “Out of the Woods” as a closing-credits pick-me-up, it’s this one.
Decidedly spooky in places, The Forest is a good showcase for Natalie Dormer as a leading lady but fails to build upon its promise. It’s not terrible, but still leaves you ultimately unsatisfied… That’s why The Forest perfectly suits her needs and desires at this juncture in her career, and it gives her the right platform to boost her cinematic profile. And in The Forest she does just that, appearing and owning pretty much every scene in the film in a strong and compelling fashion that proves she has a screen presence worthy of bigger films. Unfortunately it’s just the film itself that lets her down.
If you can get past that unpalatable aspect, though, “The Forest,” directed by Jason Zada, is a decently executed creeper built around a convincing performance by Natalie Dormer (“Game of Thrones”)… When specters materialize, the movie can look a little cheesy, like a Halloween haunted house, but Ms. Dormer handles her flirtations with madness adeptly.
The only thing good to say for “The Forest” is that Dormer is interesting, that she creates a different vibe and essence for each sister, and that it would be nice to see her in a better movie.
HollywoodLifers, are you going to see The Forest? Let us know!