It's not an unpleasant watch, but it doesn't know what it wants to be. Had it focused more on the murder mystery than on the paranormal it would have been so much better. Plus, those jump scares... that last one... come on.
Can't recall the last time I was this indifferent about a film. The problem with this film is in order to have a successful, or at least harmonious, relationship between the characters and the setting, you need to make a film that has an affinity for both. The only character interest we get is perfunctory (and cruelly unresolved at the end) and the forest feels mostly like a backdrop rather than a character.
An ok effort bordering on decent. The story and setting is full of potential that is not well realized in screen. The actors are OK and are not helped by the trite dialogue. What keeps things afloat is the beautiful photography and pretty good third reel. Shame that the director feels compelled to dumb this down for the teens when there is a mature story of grief behind the jump scares.
While this created a stimulating construction, in terms of switching between the possibilities of being placed in the supernatural or murder's realm, it's nothing special - the second half waits until its final sequences to finally deliver a yet satisfying ending and the jumpscares are lazy and forced (and I won't forgive that final one).
It feels sad and in poor taste that they decided to make a terrible horror film set in Aokigahara forest. Maybe if the film was well made, built a certain atmosphere and didn't rely on jump scares I wouldn't have minded so much.
The movie fails at capturing the sadness of a top suicide destination, instead it feels like it was made to cash in on the history of the place and the fact that people commit suicide there.
Stereotypes. A White protagonist visiting an exotic place for a holy mission. Not listening to local's advice. Keep visiting. Breaking the rules by the idea of not believing in any myth. Getting terrorized. Injured/dead
The way main character handles her emotions is painfully unrelatable. She's aloof and disconnected when dealing with sensitive subjects which makes her performance unappealing and rigid. Not a movie I'd recommend.