Reviewed by: evirei
What interest me to watch this movie? My friend Gigi told me it is based on some true stories. So yes, I can tell her now that the things she told me is not right and no? it is not even similar. In fact, this movie tells tale about how a reporter trying to resolve the mystery of the forest and what people who tries to commit suicide in the forest sees. Yes, many claim that they saw ghost. Ekin Cheng plays the role as the reporter?s boyfriend who thinks otherwise. He is a biologist who believes plants have their own feeling and thinking too? and he have been trying to communicate with them. So will his research ever help to uncover the forest mystery?
Reviewer Score: 4
Reviewed by: j.crawford
Fleshing out a segment of a previous film, the Pang Bros. make a nice movie about space aliens that can't understand suicide, which makes them seem more human, or benevolent, or something. Casting is the strong element which gives director Danny plenty of juicy moments. Forest of Death can't figure out what kind of movie it wants to be as it unspools, but it is still fairly compelling thanks to all the talent that is at work on this project.
Reviewer Score: 6
more at happyfortune.org
Reviewed by: mrblue
After a disappointing US debut with The Messengers, the Pang brothers make their return to Hong Kong screens with Forest of Death. Sadly, the journey back to Asia didn't seem to do anything for the duo. Forest of Death is a limp attempt to inject a new twist on the popular Hong Kong "ghost" genre.
Reviewer Score: 4
The movie centers around a forest where a growing number of people are going to kill themselves; hence the title -- pretty crafty, huh? Anyway, Hsu Chi plays a detective looking into a rape/murder that happened in the forest. One night, she stumbles upon a TV program featuring a botanist (Ekin Cheng) who apparently has a machine that can use plants as a lie detector.
So, of course, she hires him to grill the suspect, and tada, the case is solved. But the machine also seems to have unlocked the mystery of the forest, which could have dire consequences for the duo.
Now, at first, it was nice to have a ghost movie where the plot was something other than "some kids get trapped in a haunted house". But when you actually watch this movie, the plot has more holes than a block of swiss cheese.
First off, you might think the cops would step up their patrols around the "deadly" forest, but nope -- all they do is put in one creepy old man (Lau Siu-Ming) in a shack. Secondly, a plant lie detector that would be able to be used as evidence in a court case? Hong Kong judges must be more liberal than I thought.
Finally, when the big "twist" at the end reveals the reason why the forest is "haunted", it's just plain ridiculous. At first, I thought it was a matter of bad subtitles, of which there are a ton of on this DVD. But lo and behold, there's a big CGI money shot that really proves once and for all that the Pang brothers need to take a break from film-making, because they've officially run out of ideas.
But it's not just the ending which proves this point; the whole running time of Forest of Death features Danny Pang running on fumes. The film is obviously trying to mimic the Evil Dead movies (perhaps not coincidentally, Sam Raimi was a producer on The Messengers), going as far as to directly take the "evil POV" shots from those pictures. But there's none of the scares, shocks, or laughs from those movies present here.
Even fans of the genre (what few there might be left at this point) or the actors involved here won't find too much of interest with Forest of Death, besides ninety minutes of decent-looking eye candy. This is just yet another generic Hong Kong ghost movie, and Lord knows we really don't need any more of those.
[review from www.hkfilm.net]
Reviewed by: PAUL MARTINEZ
Summary: Not The Pangs' Best
Despite low expectations I was still let down by this. The Pang Bros due a decnt job with making the forest truly creepy. But I really didn't like any of the characters. They're were too many instances where you didn't understand motivations for actions as well.
Reviewer Score: 4
The story itself had many problems. A forest where everyone goes in to commit suicide? Uh where are the police and why haven't they sealed off the park or at least put some officers around to disuade people form going in and cutting their wrists. I know you're supposed to suspend belief in these type of films but come on. Then Ekin Cheng tells the police he can talk to the trees and they will serve as a lie detector test. And for some reason he isn't thrown into the looney bin.
Shu Qi, who is kinda hit and miss usually. Misses badly in this performance. She is sullen, ultra reserved and downright depressing and we never know why. Ekin Cheng is just dreadful. The guy has NO personality and it's not him being type cast, that's his technique. The only half decnt job is turned in by Rain Li, as the shallow entertainment jounalist.
Not much in the scares dept. Some creepy scenes with entites that have taken refuge in the forest, but that's it. To the Pang Bros. credit there was no girl with long black hair running around or was there?
All in all very disappointing in my opinion. You're better off watching the Pang's THE EYE or even THE EYE 2.