“If you have sadness in your heart, they will use it against you”
– The Forest
In only three days, movie theater goers will journey into Japan’s Aokigahara Forest alongside Sara Price, a young American woman in search of of her twin sister Jess, who mysteriously disappeared after wandering into the forest. When Sara arrives, little does she know how dangerous the voyage will actually be, as there is something that makes the Aokigahara very different than any other forest. Located at the northwest base of Mount Fuji, The Aokigahara Forest is a place where one goes when he or she has only one thing on their mind…committing suicide. Sara is warned not to “stray from the path” and enter the forest, but she is determined to discover the truth about her sister’s fate and embarks on a terrifying expedition, where she will be confronted by angry, tormented souls of the dead…who now prey on anyone who enters the forest.
Gramercy Pictures and Icon Film Distribution will release The Forest, directed Jason Zada, into theaters on Friday, January 8. The film stars Natalie Dormer (Rush, Captain America, The First Avenger, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1) as Sara Price and as Sara’s missing identical twin sister Jess. Despite Sarah’s husband Rob’s (Eoin Macken) attempts to dissuade his wife from making the 6,000 mile journey, Sarah, determined to uncover the truth about Jess’s disappearance, sets out for the Japanese forest that Jess was last seen entering before she vanished. Accompanying her is a “charismatic new, acquaintance, expatriate journalist Aiden (Taylor Kinney–Chicago, The Vampire Diaries). The rest of The Forest’s main cast includes Stephanie Vogt as Valerie and Yukiyoshi Ozawa as Michi. The rest of the cast can be seen here.
The Forest is inspired by and set in the actual Aokigahara forest (also called the Suicide Forest) in Japan. Movie Pilot describes the legends and history of the forest:“According to local folklore, the Suicide Forest is home to angry souls called yūrei, who have become so powerful over the years that they immerse the surrounding trees with malevolent energy. It’s unknown how these spirits first found their way to Aokigahara centuries ago, but their presence has only grown stronger with each new tragic death. A yūrei is created when a person dies amid a profound feeling of anger, disdain, or vengeance, and their souls are stuck in this world, committed to wandering, an after-lifetime spent appearing to people who find themselves off the forest’s wandering trail. And they’re not known for being friendly. These demons imbue Aokigahara with a troubling sense of life, leaving many travelers feeling like the trees can walk right beside them.”
Before embarking on this dangerous journey with Sara and Aiden, it is crucial that are aware of the five very strict, very important rules to stay alive:
Rule # 1: Never stray from the path
Rule # 2: Leave before dark
Rule # 3: Stay together
Rule # 4: Avoid sharp objects
Rule # 5: Remember your loved ones
If you follow these simple rules, you will definitely probably hopefully be just fine.
The Forest 1h 35m long and is rated PG-13