Cleaning out the DVR, I scored a double feature with Body and The Forest, two suspense horror films that aren’t totally original but mix things up just enough near the end to be worth a watch if you’re a fan of similar movies.
Christmas home invasion with a twist! Body is nice and short (75 minutes), and the cast of girls is great – Helen Rogers (V/H/S, The Sacrament), Alexander Turshen (Piranha Sharks), and Lauren Molina (ABCs of Death 2). They play a trio of bored girls that decides to sneak into the mansion of a rich uncle while he’s away. But when someone unexpectedly enters the house, the startled girls accidentally knock him down the stairs. Now faced with the moral dilemma of what to do about the body, they dig themselves deeper and deeper into a web of lies to cover up the truth.
They do some pretty fucked up stuff as they try to create evidence to clear themselves of any guilt, and that’s pretty much the highlight of what is otherwise your standard Sorority Row conundrum. The highlight of this film for me is the stance the self-centered bitch takes as the trio grows more and more combative, almost if she’s seen I Know What You Did Last Summer enough times to think through how she would cope if she found herself in a similar predicament.
While there are plenty of twists, they’re mostly familiar territory, but the changes in the thinking of the girls as the night progresses is pretty fresh.
THE FOREST (2016)
Natalie Dormer of Game of Thrones plays a twin whose sister disappears after going camping in the “suicide forest” in Japan, a place that’s believed to mess with your mind before pushing you off the metaphorical cliff. Despite people being found mysteriously dead in there all the time, she’s sure her sister is still alive, so she joins a writer she meets at a bar for a journey into the woods.
Annoyingly, there are early scares forced into the mix through dream sequences. But the movie begins to have its moments as the main girl starts to sense something supernatural going on in the forest at the same time as she begins to distrust the writer – sizzling ex-Gaga fiancé/Vampire Diaries werewolf Taylor Kinney of TV show Chicago Fire.
Are the ghostly figures that begin terrorizing her really there? Has she fallen under the spell of the cursed forest just like her sister? Or is Taylor Kinney a psycho who killed her sister and now wants to kill her too? While this one sort of goes in the direction of Shrooms, the twist ending is less obvious and kind of saves the movie—until the super cheesy final scare. Totally out of place.