Parents' Guide to

The Forest

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Ghost story has promising start but too many jump-scares.

Movie PG-13 2016 95 minutes
The Forest Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 12+

Good option for preteens who are looking for a scary movie.

More unsettling than scary, but some good jumpy and suspenseful moments. Knowledge about anxiety, hallucinations, suicide, etc. recommended before watching this movie otherwise be prepared to discuss it.
age 14+

Predicatble, Spooky, Umimpressing Horror Flick

The Forest didn't impress me as much as the trailer did. In my opinion the film was predictable. I knew what would happen before it did. I enjoyed the sudden scares, but they began to grow abundant and that did it for me. The ending was not to my liking, though I have seen worse. The introduction though was great. The film has the proper gore it needs being a film about suicide and emotional pain (wrist wounds, cuts, characters stabbed, maggots, hanging bodies, gunshot wounds). There was no sex which was good to see, and little cussing. This film isn't one of my favorites. I didn't like it much, and I wouldn't watch it again. I would recommend if you have the time. If it's among other choices, don't bother.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (14 ):

This ghost story starts off well, with an interesting setup and characters, but then it starts relying too much on cheap jump-scares and eventually lets the mystery slip away and fall apart. Director Jason Zada clearly started out with some good ideas, combining images from J-horror and American scary movies, as well as a terrifying forest setting, with its hideous mixture of crawling life and creeping death. And Dormer, who stole scenes in The Hunger Games films and on Game of Thrones, brings unexpected depth; she creates a touching relationship with ... herself, playing her own twin.

On the downside, THE FOREST uses the same sudden percussive sounds and visual effects that most other horror movies use, and as the story goes on, things become more muddled. The storytellers clearly want to keep some kind of mystery alive, but their juggling act starts to fall apart, relying on shocks instead of ideas. It's an admirable attempt but ultimately a disappointment.

Movie Details

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