1. The Revenant (Opening Wide, Fox, 3,375 Theaters, 156 Minutes, Rated R for strong frontier combat and violence including gory images, a sexual assault, language and brief nudity, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 81% Fresh [173 Reviews]): The original buzz about this film is that this would be Leonardo DiCaprio’s best chance at an Oscar. Then it became a film where Leo is raped by a bear.
No, Leo isn’t raped by a bear. He is mauled by one, and that’s what sets off the action in this film. He plays a man who is left for dead after that attack, who survives and fight to stay alive to enact vengeance against the man who killed his son.
This is directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, who own three Oscars last year for Birdman, which means that the film should get serious Oscar consideration. Whether that will help Leo is anybody’s guess.
2. The Forest (Gramercy, 2,451 Theaters, 95 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic content and images, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 15% Fresh [48 Reviews]): The Aokigahara Forest featured in the forest is real. It really has been associated with demonic influence in Japanese folklore, and it is a very popular place to commit suicide, so popular that the Japanese government has stopped publishing the number of suicide out of fear that it will encourage more suicides in the forest.
Given that backstory, it was only a matter of time before someone made a horror film set in the forest (although, it was really shot on Serbia. The Japanese aren’t going to release suicide figures for the forest, do you think they’ll allow a horror movie to be shot there?).
The film centers on Sara (Natalie Dormer), who heads off into the forest after her sister goes missing there. What she finds is a whole bunch of angry ghosts looking to lash out at the living.