Japan’s notorious “suicide forest,” Aokigahara, which lies at the base of Mt. Fuji., has become quite the source of movie inspiration lately. Maybe Westerners are finally waking up to its existence. Earlier this year there was Gus Van Sant’s “Sea Of Trees,” starring Matthew McConaughey, which was based on that very subject — a man wanting to die within the borders of these legendary woods. But “Sea Of Trees” was possibly the worst reviewed film at Cannes this year — here’s our none too impressed review — so perhaps filmmakers have realized its time to take another kick at the can.
That’s not entirely true though as, “The Forest,” the supernatural thriller starring Natalie Dormer (“Game Of Thrones,” and “The Hunger Games”) and Taylor Kinney, has been in the works for some time. Directed by Jason Zada and based on an original idea by David S. Goyer, principal photography began earlier this year. Here’s the official synopsis:
“The Forest,” which is set in the Aokigahara forest at the base of Mt. Fuji, tells the story of a young American woman who goes in search of her twin sister, who has mysteriously disappeared. Despite everyone’s warnings to “stay on the path,” Sara enters the forest determined to discover the truth about her sister’s fate, only to be confronted by the angry and tormented souls of the dead who prey on anyone who wanders into the forest.
Focus Features is releasing the film nationwide on January 8, 2016. Sure, its subject matter and dumping ground date don’t bode well, but maybe it has some commercial prospects with Dormer and that horror audience who seems to come out in full force in the New Year? We’ll see. Watch the trailer below.