By Tess Fox
In January, I wrote a critique of The Forest, a horror movie that came out at the beginning of that month. The main character, Sara, travels to the Aokigahara Forest in Japan where her twin sister had disappeared to search for answers. During the movie, Sara battles evil spirits of the dead who are trying to kill her. Her traumatic past becomes fodder, making it easier for the spirits to victimize her.
The movie didn’t do so hot at the box office, bringing in 37.6 million.
It received a 4/10 rating from Rotten Tomatoes critics. While most of the movie’s critique revolved around the subpar horror aspect of the film, many criticized the plot. It was described as muddled and confusing in many reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
While the critics did not have anything to say about the topic of the movie, the internet got heated.
A review by Nicole Arca on kolloboration.com echoed many of my concerns– the movie exploits suicide for a cheap thrill.
Another internet review by Charlene Jao pointed out how the movie could have included more Asian actors.
“Prioritizing a white character in a Japanese setting that’s as culturally significant as Aokigahara gives me the message that people don’t empathize with non-white characters and the stories of the actual people aren’t worth telling (or worse, inspiration for entertainment),” Jao said in their review.
On The Odyssey, there are several articles that detail the same points I made in my article. While people did go see this movie and some probably gave it a positive review, I’m glad to know that their are others out there who are sticking up for Asian actors and those with mental health issues.
Here’s my original article.