The Forest (2016) Ending Explained

The Forest (2016) explained

Last updated on April 5th, 2024 at 11:17 pm

Directed by Jason Zada, The Forest is an American horror thriller film released in 2016. The film is based on the Japanese folklore’s suicide forest, where a young woman’s desperate search for her twin sister has been screened. The woman is Sara Price, and her missing sister is Jess price. Let’s dive deep into the explanation.

The Forest Ending Explained & Plot Story in Details

* * * Spoiler Alert – If you haven’t seen the movie yet, turn back now! * * *

The film’s story is set in and around the Aokigahara Forest, located in the northwest base of Mount Fujiyama in Japan, which is the most popular suicide destination. The movie reels roles around Sara Price (Natalie Dormer). The Japanese police tell her that her twin sister, Jess Price (Natalie Dormer), is missing, and they are presuming her dead since she was last seen near the Aokigahara Forest. But with the twin telepathy, Sara believes Jess is still alive but in trouble. That’s why Sara visits Japan to look for her twin sister Jess.

In Japan, Sara stops at a hotel and meets a reporter named Aiden (Taylor Kinney). Aiden is convinced to go to the forest with Sara to write a story about her. Sara tells Aiden the story of her parent’s death caused by a drunk driving accident. However, the flashback scenes show two dead bodies (probably the bodies of her parents) in the basement of their house. Jess had witnessed the whole scene with open eyes while Sara’s eye was closed.

Sara and Aiden went to The Forest with their hired guide Michi (Yukiuoshi Ozawa). On the first day of their visit to the forest, they find a tent and clothes of Jess. Despite their inhibition of Michi, Sara decides to stay in the woods at night, and Aiden also agrees. At midnight, Sara wakes up to rustling in the bushes. She follows the sound and finds one of Jess’s Japanese students, Hoshiko (Rina Takasaki). Hoshika informs Sara about Aiden and advises her not to trust him.

The suspicion was growing against Aiden inside Sara, and she asked him whether he knew Jess. Aiden directly denies the fact of knowing Jess. But after a few moments, Sara finds Jess’s photo on Aiden’s phone. Seeing Jess’s picture on Aidens phone, Sara runs away from Aiden and gets trapped in an underground cave. There she finds Hoshiko and discovers that Hoshiko is a Yurei. Aiden is searching for Sara throughout the forest. Aiden finds Sara in the underground cave and rescues her from there. Despite hesitating at first, Sara agrees to walk with Aiden again.

On the other side of the forest, Michi has organized a search party after finding their tent empty.

Aiden and Sara reach a ranger station that Aiden knows. There Sara heard Jess’s voice coming from inside a closet. Also, she finds Jess’s note that says Aiden was holding her (Jess) captive. After knowing about the photo, the message, and the voices from the closet, Sara attacks Aiden and kills him with a small knife. After killing Aiden, Sara discovers that all these things are hallucinations in her mind.

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After recovering from the hallucination, Sara finds the basement doors of the ranger station, and there she sees a vision of the night her parents died from Jess’s point of view. Now, she knows that her parent did not die in a car accident but in a murder-suicide committed by her father. At that time, her father’s spiritual ghost grabs her hand, and she cuts his (her father’s ghost) fingers to unhand herself.

Getting away from her father’s ghost, Sara ran back outside frightened, and she discovered Jess running towards a search party. Sara starts to chase Jess by calling her name. But Jess didn’t hear from Sara, and she (Sara) kept running towards her by calling her name.

While running towards Jess, Hoshiko stops Sara and stands in her way. Stopping her, Hoshiko showed Sara her wrist, which had a severe injury. She slit her wrist with the knife; she killed Aiden when she was cutting her father’s fingers. As she realizes this, a yurei pulls her into the depths of the forest floor.

What Becomes of Jess at the End of The Forest?

The Forest starts with the search for Jess, and the movie ends with her rescue. As Sara kills Aiden and herself while searching for Jess.

At the end of the film The Forest, we discover that Jess is alive and rescued by Michi’s search party. Throughout the film, Jess is searched by her sister Sara, Aiden, and Michi. You can only watch Jess at the end of the movie while Sara is chasing her by calling her name.

Does Sara Make it Alive at the End of The Forest?

While the search party organized by Michi was rescuing Jess, Sara was chasing Jess by calling her name. After being stopped by Hoshiko, Sara discovers that she had slit her wrist with a knife while cutting her father’s fingers. She then realizes she has killed herself by slitting her wrist. As she realizes this, she lies down on the forest floor, and a yurei pulls her into the depth.

In Japanese folklore, Yurei is the spirit that haunts specific locations at a particular time. They have a notoriety for having an appearance that strikes fear into their foes which may result in self-mutilation and suicide. In the film, Sara met a Yurei named Hoshiko. It is probably the appearance of Hoshiko that leads Sara to hallucinate and kill herself and Aiden.

After getting rescued, Sara’s sister Jess implies to the rescue team that she knows Sara is dead due to twin telepathy.

What Happens at the End of The Forest?

By making the Japanese myths about the suicide forest actual, The Forest ends with the death of Sara and the rescue of her twin sister Jess. As Sara kills Aiden and herself with a knife after getting into a hallucination, and it establishes the suicidal myth of the suicide forest.

In the end scene, Michi is seen staring into the forest. His staring reveals the presence of Sara’s spirit inside him. He got possessed by Sara’s spirit just before the credits rolled.

What is the Inner Meaning of The Forest?

The film ultimately shows us the emotions of twin sisters connected through twin telepathy. One gets emotionally threatened with the possible loss of another. For this emotion, Sara goes to the suicide forest to find her missing sister Jess. This horror thriller film offers a glimpse of Japanese folklore of suicide forests and other spirits.


The plot of The Forest movie is based on Japanese folklore. It can be a great movie to stream when you are a horror-thriller lover. For today, the brainless pen stops here, have a great day.


Original Title: The Forest

Genre: Horror/ Thriller

Runtime: 1hr 33min

Original Language: English, Japanese

Directed by Jason Zada

Written by Ben Ketai, Sarah Cornwell, Nick Antosca

Tagline: Everyone comes here looking for a way out.

Release date: January 8, 2016 (USA)

Origin Country: United States

Filming locations: Tara National Forest, Serbia

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