This film about a girl with a secret twin connection searching a dark forest for her missing sister was the worst new film of the week on January 8 and the first RAZZIE contender of the year. Here are the reasons it kicked off the race so readily:
*The approval rating is the lowest for any "first film out of the gate" since 2012. It has a 10% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes and a 34% review average at Metacritic.
*This feature film directorial debut is giving Hollywood and filmgoers a bad first impression of Jason Zada.
*Similar to PAN and Aloha in 2015, The Forest had a mostly white cast playing who were supposed to be Japanese characters. Not only did this prove that whitewashing was still a problem, but it portended Hollywood getting worse with it.
*Even with an effortful performance by Natalie Dormer, the film was dismissed as hardly (if at all) scary. It was just... hanged people and leery ghosts.
*People who know about Japan's social and economic troubles since circa 1991 have complained that Hollywood has trivialized a real life-and-death crisis and dramatized the Aokigahara Forest, an actual place in the northwestern foothills of Mt. Fuji where many suicides are committed, for cheap horror and commercial gain.
Similar to PAN and Aloha in 2015, The Forest had a mostly white cast playing who were supposed to be Japanese characters. Not only did this prove that whitewashing was still a problem, but it portended Hollywood getting worse with it.
1) And the consensus reads: "It offers Natalie Dormer a few chances to showcase her range in a dual role, but they aren't enough to offset the fact that the movie's simply not all that scary."
2) That's not true. The characters were meant to be foreigners living in or visiting Japan. Now, whether the story could've been created with Japanese characters in mind is another issue. Actually, it kinda makes more sense this way. Since everyone in Japan knows that the forest is haunted, only a foreigner like SARA would spend the night there.