I was actually super bummed out about how this movie turned out. The bones were there but they just totally squandered it, this movie is like the movie equivalent of Jonathan Lipnicki. Great at first glance but then they grow up to be weird looking and you’re like “is that the kid from show me the money?” and then someone’s like “Rigby, the movie is actually called Jerry Maguire” Anyways, this movie sucked is what I’m clumsily trying to get at.
The Aokigahara forest is actually super interesting. For those of you not in the know of your haunted forests, first of all: what’s wrong with you? and secondly: here’s the deal. The very dense, very creepy Japanese forest is full of legends, books, and movies about ghosts haunting the place, and it’s become a really popular site for suicides. It’s like Vegas but you die at the end. So many people have committed suicide in the forest that signs have been put up urging them to think otherwise.
Sounds super creepy and awesome right? How could they possibly screw up a movie based on such great source material? Well guess what dipshit. They did. The Forest suffers from the same issues my downstairs bathroom suffers from: it’s super white and poorly made. It honestly irks me so much when movies set in other parts of the world just cast white people. It’s so lazy and offensive. Remember that movie set in Egypt that Christian Bale was in? Yikes. Like, come on guys. This movie is set in Japan and I think I only saw a handful of Japanese people in it and only one had a major speaking role.
So the plot of the movie is that twin sisters, Both played by Natalie Dormer, have a ~~~connection~~~ and when one of the sisters goes missing in the titular forest, the other one goes looking for her. The twins are super close and have been since their parents died in a drunk driving accident in front of their home that Jess witnessed. Remember that because it comes back later. Anyways, It honestly took like 45 minutes for them to get to The Forest and I was fully like Milhouse watching the Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie episode waiting for them to get to the fireworks factory.
So Sara, the blonde twin, goes to Japan to look for Jess, the brunette twin. Because how else would you tell them apart??! I would have gone the Goatee route myself but whatever. So Sara arrives in Japan and immediately runs into an American journalist, Aiden, who agrees to help her go look for Jess in the forest. This man is willing to go into a haunted evil forest full of dead bodies with a complete stranger on the chance he can sleep with her and I’ve gotta say, I admire his dedication (Editor’s note: you can’t blame a bitch for trying to make a buck.. or in this case fuck).
So Sara, the booty hunter and Japanese Man™ go into the forest in search of Jess, the Japanese guy tells them not to stray from the path and if they see anything strange its just their mind playing tricks and they should ignore it. They almost immediately go off the path. After wandering around for awhile seeing a few cheap scares dead bodies they find Jess’ tent and Sara decides she’s going to wait for her to come back.
The Japanese dude is all “I’ve gotta get home to watch Cowboy Bebop or a game show where guys dressed like horses eat squids or whatever, so peace out y’all” and leave Aiden and Sara to their own devices. For some reason they DO NOT bang. I was furious. You guys are in a spooky forest and a tent is RIGHT THERE and you don’t bang?? She didn’t even let Aiden sleep in the tent with her, dude slept outside on some frigging rocks. They could have played head to toe or over under if they were that worried about it.
Anyways, at some point in the night Sara hears something rustling around and decides to go investigate. Gurl, you in danger. I don’t even like to leave my cabin at night to get more wood let alone go investigate spooky noises in a forest full of corpses. So she runs into a Japanese school girl™ who is CLEARLY not a ghost at all, nope. And she tells Sara to not trust Aiden and then disappears. Again, not a ghost.
The next day Sara is side eyeing Aiden like crazy and is convinced that he knows something about where Jess is, so she decides to not trust him anymore and instead run blindly through the forest in an arbitrary direction. Because whoever wrote this was like “oh shit there’s supposed to be a THIRD act?!?! Better get this moving” Meanwhile, the only sane dude in the movie has returned to the tent and finds those fruitloop dinguses have fled the scene, so he organizes a search party.
While Sara is enjoying a panic jog through the forest she keeps seeing spoooooky ghosts which she ignores until she falls into an underground cave, where she runs into the schoolgirl from earlier that does like a lame flash game animation face morph at her causing Sara to be all “you were a ghost this whole time? I DID NOT see this coming!!”
Then Aiden shows up and hes all “you dumb idiot” and hauls her dumbass out of the hole, then they continue wandering around until they find an abandoned ranger station. Sara is fully mental at this point and Aiden’s gotta be wondering if the booty is worth it. Sara is convinced that Jess is locked in the basement of the ranger station and she stabs Aiden to death after he’s like “say what” and then she realizes whoops she was nuts the whole time and there’s no one in the basement! But maybe there is? (there isn’t)
She treks down there and finds the bodies of her mom and dad who actually died in a murder suicide! I guess this was supposed to be shocking. So the ghost of her dad grabs her arm and she’s all “ugh dad you’re embarrassing me in front of my ghoulish undead friends” and uses a knife to cut his fingers away from her wrists (I think you know where this is going) and then runs out of the ranger station towards the search party. But guess what! the search party found Jess! And she was totally alive and I guess just got lost(?) anyways, Sara is full tilt running to the search party lights but she gets stopped by that ghost girl and shes all “guess again chump! You’re totally dead now!” and Sara looks down to see that she actually cut her own wrists. The ghost girl pulls her down into the ground and Jess is all “welp. I can SENSE that my sister is TOTALLY DEAD” and the movie kinda just peters out with one last gasp at scariness with a jump scare right at the screen.
So what did we learn? I learned that nature is evil and should be destroyed at all costs. But honestly I’m confused at this message, so was the forest haunted and made people kill themselves? Or did people just go there to kill themselves and then I guess got bored and started screwing with alive people? It was super weird. But we had some laughs, I almost got scared but then decided against it, and most importantly we killed some time.
-have you ever gone camping in an evil forest?
-would you ever trust a man named Aiden?
-I sure wouldn’t
-Don’t you think “Show me the money” would have been a better title than “Jerry Maguire?”