Aokigahara forest, also known as the Suicide Forest, is a place outside of Tokyo, Japan where yearly dozens of depressed, mentally ill, and lonely people go and take their own life. Melancholy and depression are stronger emotions than folks may think, and mental illness is something many societies aren’t proactive about. Yet such a beautiful and majestic place as Aokigahara has such a heartrending reputation. Why? How come?
Oddly, the new movie, The Forest, is not the first film to focus on this strange place. The 2007 film Forest of Death by The Pang Brothers (most famous for The Eye) starring Shu Qi was probably one of the most popular. This new film starring two hot television stars, Natalie Dormer and Taylor Kinney, was released earlier this January to mediocre reviews. Natalie plays a pair of twin sisters where one, Jess, a teacher of English in Japan, goes missing and Sara, her sister, heads off to find her. Soon a hidden past begins to catch up to them and Aokigahara may be the key to both redemption and death.
First time director Jason Zada takes the helm from a script co-written by Nick Antosca (attached to the upcoming Friday the 13th reboot) and Ben Ketai (writer for the upcoming film, The Last Word, directed by Simon Rumley as well as the upcoming sequel to The Strangers). With its roots in the Japanese horror films of the early 2000’s, The Forest brings us a slow burn with a mystery to discover what is truth and hallucination. Dark Discussions talks about the first major Hollywood horror film release of 2016 and gives their opinions.