Promising to do for suicide forests what The Blair Witch Project did for non-suicide forests is the upcoming survival-horror film, The Forest. Natalie Dormer stars as Sarah, who can feel whatever is happening to Jess, her identical twin sister—exhibiting the physiological phenomenon first proven in the 1984 medical documentary, The Corsican Brothers. That’s how Sarah tracks her down to Aokigahara forest, well-known for its menacing Japanese yurei, being lousy with suicides, and inspiring “fundamentally wrongheaded” Gus Van Sant movies.
Upon arrival, Sarah is presented with a handy set of horror-movie rules. Rule number one forbids veering off the path, and rule number two stipulates that you can’t stay after dark. (Nothing about getting the forest wet or feeding it after midnight, though.)
Cue the scary thing outside the tent, the goddamn owls, the guy wearing the Scarecrow mask from Batman Begins, Natalie Dormer getting pulled into a watering hole, Natalie Dormer getting pulled into a hole in the ground, and Natalie Dormer fucking around with a View-Master she finds in a cave. Honestly, “Don’t pick up any haunted View-Masters you find laying about” should have been rule number one.
You’ll be able to wander into Aokigahara and ignore the rules when The Forest arrives in theaters January 8.