Seriously? Don't mean to poke fun at this, but it really is true: somehow, some way, it seems that in the classic trope and style of a horror film from the bowels of B-cheese like Friday the 13th to even the most modern found footage flicks of The Blair Witch Project, the fact is forests freak people out.
The question I ask then is why? Why does the "Dark Forest" around the corner beckon the shadows of hell?
Ecologically, trees bring life, man! Seriously, they actually create oxygen. Who wouldn't want that? We save the forests—everything from rainforests to redwoods and in between.
Yet plant us right in the middle of a forest with those tall sturdy soldiers looming over us, and we tend to freak out. It's all in the mindset, though, when you think about it.
Take "The Grove," for example: A horrific tale about being in a forest with a ruthless killer.
You simply need to click here and check out the short film yourself. Feel the goosebumps stand on end.
Here's what I gather about what a forest does to the setting of your horror film—it create ambiance. You're suddenly surrounded by not only cover and foliage that would make for excellent shadows and hiding, but even sounds that play tricks on your senses.
It's no wonder killers find ample material to exercise their art in the confines of the trees! Except for the fact that most of the time you won't find many victims. Just mosquitoes and, of course, bears. Chances are the bears could take any serial killer down pretty easily.
However, more of the supernatural take tends to lend that fear thanks to "My Forest."
This short horror film was so effective that you wouldn't catch me in the woods alone if my life depended on it. Check it out right here.
The fact is the forest overlaps with that sense of nature tying into something that may be dark and sinister. Back in the day cultists would do that sort of thing: go into a forest and sacrifice to their dark gods for a way into the blackness of their hearts that earned them paranormal powers or something like that.
And the fact that those trees act as a "shelter" or a shield to keep those blackened spirits in... Well, let's just say if you ever walked into a forest known for harboring all sorts of HELL like that, you're asking for trouble.
Of course, nothing compares to the infamous "Suicide Forest" in Japan
And there was already a feature film released, based on it. However, lackluster it was. Although click here and you'll get an inside look of just how actually creepy the real forest is! Sometimes real is better than imaginary or anything Hollywood can cook up for you.
One thing to say about the power of the darkness that is in this particular forest, though: it's about the history. That forest was said to be the location for many suicides—and for good reason. It's secluded. No one will see you. You can end your life there.
That is why, in fact, the forest earned the name... The Suicide Forest. Because of the history behind it, notoriety inevitably followed. Our imaginations take over, though, and we end up seeing what we want to see instead of what's really there.
And believe me—when in the forest and the trees cover all semblance of light from the stars and the moon, you're in pitch-black and your mind can play tricks on you. That's the draw.
That's what gets you.
So what do you guys think? Are forests REALLY that scary?
Or is it all in our heads? Are we ever going to get tired of the setting in the current thematic character that is the "forest?" There's no doubt that this is the one setting playing a role, an actual character, in a story.
And it's really easy getting lost in that character for a very long time. Quite chilling when you think about it.