The Forest is a 2016 American supernatural horror film directed by Jason Zada and written by Ben Ketai, Nick Antosca, and Sarah Cornwell. It stars Natalie Dormer and Taylor Kinney. The film was released on January 8, 2016 in the United States by Gramercy Pictures.
The majority of the story is set in and around the Aokigahara Forest, a forest at the northwest base of Mount Fuji in Japan known as a popular destination for the suicidal.
Sara Price (Natalie Dormer), an American woman, receives a phone call from the Japanese police telling her that they think her troubled twin sister Jess is dead, as she was seen going into Aokigahara forest. Despite the concerns of her fiancé, Rob (Eoin Macken), she journeys to Japan and arrives at the hotel where her sister was staying.
At her hotel, Sara meets a reporter named Aiden (Taylor Kinney). They drink together, and she tells him of her parents’ death in a drunk driving accident, which her sister witnessed, but Sara did not. Aiden invites her to go into the forest with him and a park guide, Michi, so she can look for her sister.
As the three enter Aokigahara, Michi tells Sara that Jess has most likely killed herself. Deep in the woods, the group discovers a yellow tent that Sara recognizes as Jess’s. With nightfall approaching, Michi suggests they leave a note for Jess and leave. Sara refuses, and Aiden volunteers to stay with her through the night.
That night, Sara hears rustling in the bushes and, believing it may be Jess, rushes into the woods after them. Sara finds a Japanese girl, Hochiko, who claims to know Jess. The girl warns Sara not to trust Aiden and flees at the sound of his voice. Sara attempts to chase after her but falls and loses her.
The next day, Aiden and Sara become lost and begin to walk around the forest. As they walk, Sara’s suspicions are raised and she demands Aiden to give her his phone and finds a picture of Jess on it. Aiden denies any involvement with Jess, but Sara runs into the forest alone. While running she begins to hear voices telling her to turn around. She appears to be unfazed by this until she hears the voice directly behind her. She turns around to see a hanging body and continues to run away. She then falls into an underground cave and goes unconscious, later she wakes up and discovers that she is in the cave with Hochiko, who turns out to be a yūrei. Hochiko then turns into what appears to be a “demonic figure”. Sara then runs the opposite way towards what appears to be Aiden. Aiden finds her and helps her out of the cave and, with some convincing, they continue to walk together.