All the leaves are gone.

And the sky is grey.

It’s bleak as far as the eye can see.

Welcome to January at the Box Office.

The movie studio system now survives on tentpole blockbusters– those big movies and their sequels that generate hundreds of millions of dollars and become global phenomenons. With virtually every single studio having a franchise designed to make their competition quake in their movie executive boots, the release schedule for these movies change all the time. What used to be contained within the Memorial Day to Labor Day stretch is now spread out all over the calendar.

The official kick-off this year? March 25th with Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The only problem is we have miles to go before we get there.


First stop on the Pre-Blockbuster ‘16 Tour is the deep, dark, and scary woods with Queen Margaery from Game of Thrones in The Forest.

WHAT’S IT ABOUT: A young woman searches for her twin sister in a Japanese forest only to find herself surrounded by paranormal forces.

SHOULD YOU SEE IT: If you like horror movies, sure. Or if you’ve resolved to see at least one movie a week in the theater like I did.

Horror movies in January are kind of a new thing– it’s one of the most interesting subplots of the movie calendar. Normally a dumping ground for movies studios can’t find a good home for, January and February are when studios mine for gold. The Paranormal Activity expanded universe, as many ‘found footage’ style horror movies as you can think of, and a few gems, like Taken, are products of this studio release process.

The Forest, which is the story of a woman looking for her sister in Aokigahara– a mythical place referred to as the Suicide Forest in Japan. I’m already freaked out. Unlike most early year horror flicks, this film is scripted and shot like an actual movie, which is odd for a horror movie in 2016, so hopefully it’s a sign of things to come. While the early in the year release date would make me think this isn’t that great, I could be wrong. Enter The Forest at your own risk.

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