Tuesday, April 5, 2016
'The Forest' Blu-Ray: Into the Disenchanted Woods
The April 12, 2016 Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Blu-ray release of the 2016 horror film "The Forest" nicely presents the lore of the dark and scary woodland with tried-and-true horror elements. The crisp clear images and enhanced sound of the Blu-ray format are good bonuses.
"Game of Thrones" and "Elementary" actress Natalie Dormer, who is in every scene, does a good job carrying the film. The wonder twins power of her young American Sara Price alert her that her turning Japanesa twin sister Jess is in distress but not dead as the Tokyo police are reporting. Whether the Price is right remains a mystery until the final moments of the film.
The sibling concern prompts Sara to fly to Tokyo; on arriving at the school where Jess teaches, Sara learns that Jess is presumed dead following her disappearance during a field trip into what is known as the "suicide forest." This exposition includes the real-life history regarding this area that underlies the legend that hikers straying off the path invites the herd of malevolent spirits who inhabit it to kill you.
The early portion of the film additionally reveals the shared childhood trauma of Les Souers Price that is a factor.
Neither the history of the titular outdoor recreation area nor the increasingly horrific nightmares that Sara is experiencing deter her from going into the woods in search of Jess. Finding Jess' tent kicks things into high gear in ways that includes menacing figures in the shadows and spooky hidden spaces.
All of this follows the dual formulas of modern understated horror films and the related genre of scary American films set in Japan. Just because the audience largely knows what is coming next does not prevent the manner in which the story is told and the twists that the filmmaker throws in from being entertaining.
The special features include a director's commentary and the behind-the-scene film "Exploring the Forest."
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "The Forest" is welcome to either email me or to connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.