Writer: Jose Pedro Lopes (Screenplay)
Starring: Daniela Love, Jorge Mota, Mafalda Banquart, Ligia Roque, Lilla Lopes, Tiago Jacome
Plot: The Forest of the Lost Souls is a dense and remote forest, Portugal’s most popular place for suicide. In a summer morning, two strangers meet within the woods.
Tagline – Sadness will last forever.
Runtime: 1 Hour 11 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Hauntingly Beautiful
Story: The Forest of the Lost Souls starts as we learn about the Portuguese forest of the lost souls, the place where people go to commit suicide. Ricardo (Mota) a middle-aged man is there for his first attempt, he runs into young lady Carolina (Love) who has been here before and the two discuss their reasons for being in the forest this time around.
We learn that one of these two has a secret and alternative motives for being the forest, and now they are searching for more victims, Filipa (Banquart) whose sister was one of the victims of the forest becomes the latest target.
Thoughts on The Forest of the Lost Souls
Characters – Carolina is the young woman wondering around the forest, she has the back up plans in case she can’t go through with her suicide attempt, we don’t learn too much about why she is there from her conversation with Ricardo. Ricardo is the middle-aged man that is in the forest, this is his first time here and he hasn’t planned for the situation if he couldn’t get through it, he tries to talk Carolina out of her plan, while also learning to plan for his own decision. Filipa has seen her sister take her life, part of a family that is getting stalked by a mysterious person.
Performances – The cast keeps us down to only six people that even have lines, Daneila Love and Jorge Mota give us the best performances because the interactions between the two keep us on edge to learn motive behind their actions.
Story – The story is broken into three chapters, the opening sequences which shows us how the forest can be used for the suicide, the second and most interesting on follow the two different generations discussing the idea of suicide, the final one which shows the motives of one of them, even if we don’t learn the complete reasoning behind everything. these chapters keep the pace flowing and the mystery waiting, it is give a dark and disturbing feeling of unease throughout.
Horror/Mystery – The horror comes from the realization of one of the characters motives and what they go onto do. The mystery comes from wondering what the motives are for going this way with this character.
Settings – The settings a beautiful, they show us how bleak the forest can make people feel like this would be the right place for suicide.
Special Effects – The effects are used lightly, mostly with use of camera to film the darker scenes.
Final Thoughts – This is a very interesting, beautiful and bleak horror movie which will ask big questions about how to tackle suicide in the darkest places.
Overall: Horror fans to go and enjoy.