As far as movies go, I am an avid audience.
Laughs, tears, screams, thrills…
When there is a film with a story that has so much potential, it is a shame to pass it up.
See, I’m not a scary movie person. In fact, I barely made it past the first few minutes of Supernatural season 1, episode 1. Ghostbusters gave me nightmares for months.
So, it was with trembling breath I allowed my friends to drag me to this movie.
Natalie Dormer is, in my opinion, one of the best actresses in Hollywood. I’ve been a fan of her work since she was revealed as Moriarty in Elementary. There are other things – such as Mockingjay Part 1 and 2 – but, I’m just not a big fan of the franchises.
The setting is absolutely beautiful. If it were not for the general creepiness and macabre-ness of it all, this forest is someplace that would be fun to hike.
This story played out as some drama about a girl losing her sister and going to Japan to rescue her from some unknown evil or, potentially, suicide. Despite numerous nice people telling her not to go into the forest or, at the very least, do not go in alone or stay the night – she goes into forest. She gets separated from the guide and, with a man she does not know from Adam, they start off on their own. She is, then, hounded by demons trying to lure her into the Swamp of Saddness (really hope someone catches that reference) so she can become one of them forever.
And, that is the story.
Took nearly an hour of screentime to get there.
Perhaps this story could have been made more of an eye-opener (instead of a snoozer) if the girls had lost their parents to the forest instead of the way they did.
Instead of focusing on the jump-scares or tension, if the writers had taken the opportunity to talk about some of the ghosts’ reasons for committing suicide. Perhaps, to focus on the pain that drove these poor souls to such hopelessness would have created a bit more terror. AND, perhaps, a bit of mental health awareness to boot.
Now, I liked the movie.
Enough to buy it when it comes out on DVD?
If they had made the movie out to be a supernatural drama, I believe I would have gone into it a bit more open-minded. But, the jump-scares were predictable and the ending, while somewhat surprising, was a downer.
If they had taken the obvious mental health route, the story would have been more unnerving and scary. It also would have, I feel, been a better story with an actual message…..
Instead of, “if you have darkness in your heart, beware of creepy forests people say are haunted by evil demon-things that… might possibly want to eat your soul.”