It is now 2016 and the movies we watch at the theaters all of a sudden feel a little different. No longer are we being inundated with films that can be described as “good,” vying for accolades from critics and peers or becoming the most financially successful movie of all time. No, those days are over. Anyway, a movie called The Forest will be playing at your local multiplex starting today. It’s about a forest. A spooky forest. Ahead, we answer every question you could possibly have about The Forest.
Q: What is the forest?
A: The forest in this case is the Aokigahara Forest just outside of Tokyo.
Q: What is so special about this particular forest?
A: We are told that this forest is a place people often go to commit suicide.
Q: That sounds grim?
A: Well, it is and …. BLAAAAAAMMMMMOOOOO!
Q: What was that loud and totally out of place noise?
A: That was a jump scare.
Q: Isn’t that what Mario is called in the original Donkey Kong?
A: You’re thinking of Jumpman.
Q: Doesn’t Donkey Kong live in Japan, too?
A: It’s not clear where Donkey Kong lives, but he was created in Japan by Shigeru Miyamoto in 1981.
Q: Is Donkey Kong the main villain in The Forest?
Q. What’s a jump scare?
A: A tactic bad movies use to scare human beings when the movie isn’t naturally scary.
Q: Does The Forest qualify?
A: Yes. The Forest, the feature debut of director Jason Zada, uses many, many, many jump scares and is also a bad movie.
Q: What’s the most egregious example in The Forest?
A: Natalie Dormer is riding in a cab in Tokyo and staring out the window (which looks a lot like the scene where Bill Murray does the same thing in Lost in Translation), when, all of a sudden, a homeless man puts his face on the window, accompanied by a VERY LOUD NOISE THAT IS NOT AT ALL MADE IN REAL LIFE WHEN SOMEONE PUTS THEIR FACE ON A WINDOW.
Q: What’s the terrible, hacky title you almost used for this review?
A: “Lost in Forestation.”
Q: How much of the movie did you miss because you refused to look at the screen?
A: Probably about 15 percent. It’s not a pleasant experience to stare at a screen knowing something is going to JUMP OUT AT ME AND BE LOUD any second. Honestly, it’s as fun as watching a jack-in-the-box … see, it’s the same thing. Just go buy one of those instead.
Q: If you’re going to be blurbed in the commercials for The Forest, what quote do you think will be used?
A: “It’s as fun as watching a jack-in-the-box … see it!” — Mike Ryan, Uproxx
Q: Who goes into the forest?
Q: Stop. Who goes into the forest?
A: A woman named Jess Price (played by Natalie Dormer).
Q: Do we hear the name “Jess” spoken an endless amount of times during The Forest as people call her name?
Q: How often is the name “Jess” said?
A: Do you know how when you hear a word enough times in a row it doesn’t sound like a word anymore? It starts sounding like gibberish that has no meaning? At least that many times.
Q: Why did Jess (“Jess! Where are you, Jess?!”) go into the forest?
A: No one knows, but officials assume she went into the forest to kill herself.
Q: Who is looking for Jess?
A: Jess’s exact identical twin sister, Sara (played by Cher).
Q: Is Sara one of these nonsense people who tells everyone she can sense what her twin sister is doing?
A: Yes. Including a magazine journalist named Aiden (Taylor Kinney) she meets at a bar. Aiden eventually accompanies Sara in her search for Jess. (“Jess! Can you hear us, Jess? Jess!”)
Q: Does he work for Bop?
A: No, Aiden works for an Australian travel magazine.
Q: Does the forest have supernatural qualities?
A: Yes. Which sounds spooky, but eventually devolves into ghouls who JUMP OUT AT YOU AND ARE LOUD!!!!
Q: Does the plot of The Forest make any sense?
A: For a little bit. But by the end it’s all nonsense. Honestly, the best trick The Forest pulls is, for a split second, fooling you into thinking the movie is going somewhere interesting. Spoiler: It does not.
Q: Jess! Can you hear us?
Mike Ryan lives in New York City and has written for The Huffington Post, Wired, Vanity Fair and New York magazine. He is senior entertainment writer at Uproxx. You can contact him directly on Twitter.