The Forest Of The Lost Souls - The Forest Of The Lost Souls(Blu Ray) [Wildeye Releasing - 2018]The Forest Of The Lost Souls is a Portuguese horror film with arty intentions- filmed in classily scoped black & white. The film brings together elements of moody & bleak drama, brooding nature footage, and later elements of home-invasion/ slasher elements. Here on Wild Eye Releasing is an either Blu Ray or DVD release of the 2017 film- and I believe both of these are region free- I’m reviewing the Blu Ray version.
The Forest Of The Lost Souls is the second feature-length film from José Pedro Lopes- who started directing shorts around 2007. After a monologue of a woman drowning herself in the tree-lined loch-the film begins in a forest, where apparently people go to commit suicide. First, we meet Ricardo- a man in his late 50 with a seemingly estranged wife & daughter. Fairy soon, while he’s trying to do away with himself, we meet Carolina a caring-though- odd young women. For the next half-an-hour or so we get the pair debate suicide- to the backdrop of the moodily filmed forest. Then we get a fairly jarring & surprising twist, which sees the film moving from the forest to a house location- I won’t say more, as if you do fancy giving this a go, more plot details will rather ruin the film.
The film moves from bleak-if-sleekly moody, onto fairly tense, dramatic, and later fairly bloody- before rather petering out with a rather underwhelming resolve. The two key actors do their roles well enough, the twist certainly surprises, and it has some nicely classy black & white cinematography. The problem is after the twist it feels rather predictable & clichéd. I also found the post-rock to bland electronica soundtrack often awkwardly placed through-out the film- it’ll suddenly appear when unneeded rather ruining moody landscape shots, or be overplayed when one is meant to be feeling at certainly emotion. So, as a result, I’m afraid to say I found The Forest Of The Lost Souls more frustrating, than wholly satisfying- there’s certainly promise here- it just felt unfortunately a bit too uneven.
Extras wise we get a full-length commentary from the director, a short from the director featuring one of the same female actors from the film, and a trailer. The picture on the blu ray looks good- and the moody cinematography looks very good on a big screen TV.
The Forest Of The Lost Souls certainly shows that director José Pedro Lopes certainly has talent- sadly the film just didn’t hang together well enough- with the moody opening to effective plot twist, leading to cliché unfold & later bored puzzlement. Roger Batty