I rarely go see movies in the theater unless I'm sure I'll like them...or unless I've read the book. I don't like spending $10+ on a maybe.
When her twin sister disappears in Japan, a young American named Sara (Natalie Dormer) becomes determined to find out what happened to her. Sara's investigation leads her to the legendary Aokigahara Forest, located at the base of Mount Fuji. Accompanied by expatriate Aiden, she enters the mysterious wilderness after being warned to "stay on the path." Her investigation plunges her into a dark world where the angry and tormented souls of the dead prey on those who dare to explore the forest.
I went into this movie with high expectations....and had those sorely dashed. It ended up being one of those movies where the plot never got rolling. It felt like all exposition. I kept waiting for it to really pick up and GET GOING and then.....it ended. The simplicity of the premise didn't allow for a lot of plot development anyway. Even so, I kept feeling like I'd been given pieces to a puzzle without the box...and that's where the rest of the pieces were being kept. I also hate when a movie relies on jump scares! If you can't freak me out without a dozen scary things jumping out at me...your writing sucks.
THE VVITCH (WITCH)
In 1630 New England, panic and despair envelops a farmer (Ralph Ineson), his wife (Kate Dickie) and four of their children when youngest son Samuel suddenly vanishes. The family blames Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), the oldest daughter who was watching the boy at the time of his disappearance. With suspicion and paranoia mounting, twin siblings Mercy (Ellie Grainger) and Jonas (Lucas Dawson) suspect Thomasin of witchcraft, testing the clan's faith, loyalty and love to one another.
It got such high praise on various websites. I went in thinking I'd walk away properly terrified.
They worked really hard at making this film disturbing and, when I got bored, I started picking those things apart.
- The use of neutral colors with splashes of red. We, as a species, know red usually means blood so it's bad. The neutral colors make the red POP.
- Silence. Very rarely do we encounter silence. Stop reading and listen around you. Background noise is everywhere. The hum of the AC, the air moving the trees, a car driving by...When those noises are removed, our instincts tell us something is wrong. They erased background sounds several times in the movie to create an edge.
- Varying volumes. I kept futzing with the volume control because it would dip down to barely above a whisper so I'd listen harder and then BAM LOUD NOISES.
So, overall, I walked away feeling disturbed but didn't enjoy the movie. I thought it was flat and a little boring...kind of like The Forest.
A young American named Greta (Lauren Cohan) takes a job as a nanny for an 8-year-old boy in a remote English village. To her surprise, Greta learns that the child of her new employers is a life-size doll. They care for the doll as if it was human, which helps the couple to cope with the death of their own son 20 years earlier. When Greta violates a list of strict rules, a series of disturbing and inexplicable events bring her worst fears to life, leading her to believe that the doll is alive.
This one I did enjoy! The premise of a creepy doll has been done, yes...but I enjoyed the way they went about it here.
I can't say much without spoiling it...but the story ended in a way I didn't expect and definitely freaked me out more than I'd thought it would.
The final shot, however, I could have done without. It just wasn't necessary.
Have you seen any of these movies? What did you think?