Stay On The Path
Horror is not my genre. I'll admit that right now. I believe it to be the genre that has the least innovation, falling back not just on the same tropes and cliches and structures, but endlessly repeating them as though a slightly different cast or a slightly different setting is going to provide fundamental changes to a core concept that is thread bare to begin with. Now, I'm not saying that this is unique to horror; others genres can be just as mud-stuck. And I'm not saying that there aren't horror movies out there that are original and unique. But movies like Cabin in the Woods wouldn't resonate so well if the vast majority of the films weren't interchangeable.
The Forest seems to be one of those sorts of films. Young people go into a woods, and are terrorized by things. This time the young people are Natalie Dormer and Taylor Kinney, and the forest is the Aokigahara Forest at the base of Mount Fuji, and that is where I suspect the distinction will end between this film and one of dozens of others. Usually, this sort of stuff gets limited releases, or direct to market releases, and is followed by a handful of sequels, each as repetitive and redundant as the last. What makes The Forest an oddity is that Dormer is really not at the stage of her career where she needs to be making thought-washed horror films. Being the scream queen in a jump-scare movie is usually reserved for the rising starlet, or the desperate comeback. Not someone who is the prime of their career. So, maybe there is something about the script that is original and worth our time. I doubt I'll be going to see the film to find out, but there has to be some explanation beyond "every month of the year needs at least one horror release, regardless of quality." Or maybe she just wanted the money. Who am I to judge?