Top critical review
10 people found this helpful
J-Style Horror in a Native American Forest.
on July 8, 2007
The Haunted Forest was a low-budgeted film which used Japanese Horror techniques to scare the viewer. I have to say it was better than I was expecting, but I consider it only as a rental film.
The film begins with a photograper being mysteriously taken by an unseen force in the forest. Later, three male friends go into the forest to find a particular tree which was recovered from the photographers camera. It shows a human like shape reaching out of a tree. They and two female characters become hunted by the forest spirit Santika and a crazy hunter who is being controlled by the spirit. Santika begins her attacks by marking the victims with a twig enbedded into their skin. THis causes the victim to become ill. Then the hunter tracks and traps them so Santika can drag them off to her underground layer where they become live soil for the forest. As some of the characters disappear, we discover that one of them was a native american who was Santika's lover in a past life. We also discover that the tree spirit has been collecting victims to use as soil for a new set of trees for the forest which was burned down by three humans in the past. Santika origianlly went into the spirit tree to get cover from the fire. But the tree decided to use her to capture victims for it's new forest. I'll leave the rest of the film for you to see for yourself.
The Haunted Forest was a little confusing at times, but the J-Horror stlye really helped to make it creepy. By J-Horror I mean their were definately horror filming elements that can be seen in The Grudge movies and other more popular Japanese horror films. The film did jump me a few times, and the acting was above average for a low budgeted film.
There are really no special features with this film, and it will most likely be all fizzled out as far as scare factor after a couple of viewings. My suggestion is to rent it if you like J-Horror style films. Buying it will probally just lead to you re-selling it at some point to a used DVD store. I gave the film 3 stars due to the fact that it actually had an original idea, and it actually jumps the viewer like it was meant to. An ok rental at best.