The upcoming film The Forest takes a twist on a real-life horror story. The movie uses Japan's Aokigahara Forest (also known as the "Suicide Forest") as a backdrop for supernatural horror, showing what happens to those who venture off the path.
As the film's release date draws closer, Gramercy Pictures has released a new trailer showing off some of the horrors that plague Sara (Natalie Dormer of Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games) as she searches for her sister. Some alternate artwork for the film's poster has also been revealed online.
The Forest follows Sara as she receives a phone call telling her that her sister has disappeared in Aokigahara Forest, explaining that the forest is where people go to commit suicide. As seen in the new trailer, she travels to Japan to try and find her sister and fails to heed the warnings of those who are familiar with the forest's evil. Night sets in, and Sara finds out firsthand just what the forest can do to those who stay into the night.
The new alternate artwork for the film was revealed on Dormer's Facebook and Instagram channels. Featuring a darker, moodier scene than the original teaser poster, it plays into the supernatural elements more than its counterpart. The accompanying text "Everyone Comes Here Looking for a Way Out" is the same that appeared on the teaser, but with the overall look of the piece it seems to take on a slightly more sinister feel.
This isn't the first film that's been set against the backdrop of Aokigahara Forest; three other films have shared the setting, including two horror movies. The most acclaimed of these was Gus Van Sant's The Sea of Trees starring Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe which came out earlier this year. The Forest looks to be the film to enjoy the widest release of any of the films set here so far, however. It will also be the fourth film distributed by Gramercy Pictures since Focus Films relaunched the label and only the second that isn't part of an existing franchise.
It will be interesting to see how the film is received by fans. The "haunted woods" trope has been used a lot in movies, but in this case the forest that's featured has a lot of mythology behind it and a very real problem of people coming to the forest to end their lives. The studio is playing up the fact that the real-world counterpart of the movie's setting has a horrific history, so hopefully the end result will live up to the hype.
Previously: The Forest Teaser Trailer #1
The Forest is scheduled to release on January 8, 2016.