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Things get predictably spooky in "The Forest," a walk in the woods that's closer to Red Riding Hood than the Blair Witch.
"Game of Thrones" schemer Natalie Dormer plays a dual role as identical twins Sara and Jess. When Jess goes missing in Japan, Sara flies in to find her only to be told that Jess entered the Aokigahara Forest at the base of Mount Fuji, a place infamous as a site for suicides.
Sara, helped by a hunky American travel writer ("Chicago Fire's" Taylor Kinney), ventures into the forest, where she soon is beset with demonic spirits who bring out Sara and Jess' past troubles, especially the shocking deaths of their parents.
Rookie director Jason Zada employs the standard repertoire of shadowy figures, discordant music and red-herring "gotcha" scares. Alas, there's no real sense of tension as the story (credited to three writers) lurches toward a by-the-numbers ending.
Opening Friday, Jan. 8, at theaters everywhere; rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic content and images; 93 minutes.