Forest of Death (2023) Movie Review – Horror on Tubi

Horror | 75 Min
Forest Of Death (2023) Horror Movie Review
  • Director: Brendan Rudnicki
  • Actors: Tyler Miller, Chloë Marie Rhoades, Benjamin L. Newmark, Stephanie Kirves , Dylan DeVane
  • Writers: Brendan Rudnicki, Kellan Rudnicki
  • Producers: Brendan Rudnicki
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • Parental: Violence, Language, Drug Use, Bad Acting, Terrible Plot, Dumb Characters, Fake IMDB Reviews
  • Horror | 75 Min

A group of friends head to a cabin in the woods that hides a dark secret. They do a bunch of stuff some bad shit happens. And then they all head home to rate the movie 10/10 on IMDB and leave glowingly positive User Reviews.

Welcome to Knockout Horror. Today we are reviewing another low budget horror movie from free streaming service Tubi – Forest of Death. We have been covering a ton of free horror on Tubi over the past month. The majority of which has, let’s be real, sucked pretty hard. Despite how bad many of them were, we actually found a few watchable movies and even a few gems. ReSet, Lexi and The Andy Baker Tape are all pretty decent. While Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism genuinely surprised us for how great it is. 

Today’s movie didn’t exactly fill me with confidence from the get go. Skin walkers, a group of friends on vacation, a cabin in the woods. Man if I haven’t seen this movie a million times before. But what about the reviews? This movie has 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. I mean, this has to be good. Have you seen the amount of 10/10 ratings and user reviews it has on IMDB? People love this movie!

The Best Horror Movie Ever?

“Have you ever wondered what it would be like in a forest? [sic]” one review questions. Before declaring Forest of Death to be one of their “top 5 DBS movies of all time”… Ermm, a little specific I suppose but let’s scroll down a bit. “Shapeshifter Fans- this one is for YOU” another declares. Before going on to state that “DBS films wows again!”. Okay, rather specific again but probably a coincidence. Yet another enthusiastic viewer writes “Watched it with my family 13 year old loved it fantastic movie. Never a doll moment. [sic]“. Before stating “By far my top 5 movies by dbs films [sic]“. Alright, I am starting to see a theme here.

Forest Of Death (2023) Horror Movie Review

Either DBS Films has an absolutely rabid fan base that can’t get enough of their awful horror movies. Or someone is up to no good when it comes to the ratings. Man does this shit ever get old fast? Horror has such a massive problem with fake reviews and paid ratings. We all know this is going to happen on places like IMDB and the like. But this problem goes far deeper than that.

Whether it is horror review sites that are involved in the production of a movie. Over-rating it and deceiving their reader base. Or simply critics being handed a few dollars to positively review a movie and skew the score on Rotten Tomatoes. Horror movie reviews have become a completely unreliable source of honest opinions. It sounds like a strange thing to say because here I am reviewing horror movies. Hoping that you will appreciate my opinion. But it is an undeniable fact. 

This Movie Sucks!

Awful acting, a boring plot, no suspense, stupid characters, predictable scares, terrible effects and an awful script. That is Forest of Death’s truth. Not “No matter what age you watch with you will surely be on the edge. [sic]“. And not “The more films DBS produces, the more I believe they are a force to be reckoned with [sic]“. And definitely not “The acting in this movie is really good. Wow! The primise. The story line is really good and easy to follow! The cabin is really pretty and the Forest setting is pretty but it adds to the tension looking out into the woods from the cabin. [sic]“. 

An actual Rotten Tomatoes verified critic describes this movie as being a “Standout horror film”. Then goes on to say it “Defies genre expectations” before awarding it a meager 6/10. Just enough to get the movie above the “Certified Fresh” rating, I guess. Another praises it for not “falling for genre cliches”. Despite the fact that characters repeatedly find reasons to run into the woods alone. Only minutes after being told to never enter the woods alone. Sounds a little cliched if you ask me. 

Forest Of Death (2023) Horror Movie Review

Another Rotten Tomatoes verified critic has the temerity to say that the “experimentation is effective in the end”. Experimentation in what? Putting out terrible horror movies, conveyor belt style, and deceiving fans with paid reviews? I am not using this as a way to put my site on a pedestal. Knockout Horror hasn’t been around for very long and I have only been reviewing frequently for the past year. We aren’t a source of everything horror. We probably haven’t reviewed every movie you are looking to watch. To be honest, we probably never will. I am just one guy, after all. But I will always give you my honest opinion. Good or bad. The, literal, only thing you have to offer as a reviewer is an honest opinion. Period. That’s what you will always get here.

Formulaic, Poorly Made and Extremely Dull

I was going to point out that this movie might be somewhat fitting if you are looking for something “So bad it is good”. But I don’t even want to do that after seeing the number of fake reviews. I don’t want to give this movie any more credit than it deserves. Forest of Death is just a rather bad horror movie, plain and simple. For everything it does right, it does a couple of things wrong. 

Four friends head off to a cabin in the woods to spend a weekend together. The cabin hides a secret, yada yada yada. A couple who stayed there recently disappeared. The group experiences some weird stuff. Insert wendigos, skin walkers, Missing 411, David Paulides, Appalachian Wild Men and other buzz words that are really popular at the moment. Characters do stupid stuff. I laugh, the movie ends, I roll my eyes. It’s really that simple.

Forest Of Death (2023) Horror Movie Review

The plot is utterly formulaic. Playing out like a “horror by numbers”. Never once surprising the viewer or even offering a reason to invest. You have seen this type of thing a million times before. We are introduced to a pair of characters there purely to set the scene. They won’t be sticking around for long. Our actual cast is a group of mid-30s stoners acting like spring breakers. A group of people so dumb, that when they hear of something terrifying living in the woods. They eagerly rush to do everything they were expressly told not to do by another character. It is so painfully predictable and astonishingly cliched.

Unlikable Characters

With the exception of dopey jock Tom. The characters here are completely unlikable and almost entirely copied from every other horror movie ever. We have the aforementioned boisterous jock who loves to party. The busty blonde chick with a heart of gold. The quiet stoner with questionable hygiene and the plain Jane chick tailor made to be “the last girl”. Each of which reacts in a totally predictable manner to the events taking place. Jock dude is impulsive and quick to anger. Stoner dude is laid back and rather timid. The blonde chick enjoys watching jock dude throw his weight around. And plain Jane chick just wants everyone to have a nice time. 

Forest Of Death (2023) Horror Movie Review

It’s painfully dull. The only character to offer a glimpse of hope is country drunkard Roger. Who, despite his character being yet another cliche, is actually kinda funny. Speaking of Roger; actor Benjamin Newmark who plays him almost ends up being a net loss for this movie. Due to the fact that he manages to show up the other actors for how awful they are. He is pretty decent and does a good job with the character. Make the entire movie about him and we might have been on to something. Pretty much everyone else blows out of both holes.

Generally Poor Acting

Luckily, the two worst actors in the movie are only in it for a brief few minutes. But the movie’s writer Kellan Rudnicki, as Brad, screaming “Who the hell is in here, all right?” at the top of his voice. Prompted fits of laughter in my house. Great stuff and a perfect “Awful Horror” movie moment. Pretty much setting the tone for what is to come.

Dylan DeVane, as, err, Dylan, is really lacking in the acting department. He never changes facial expression, never emotes, and has no enthusiasm in his delivery. He is awkward and out of place on screen. Feeling like someone they just dragged in off the street and handed a script to. His credits state that he is a director. But if his direction is as bad as his acting then I doubt he could direct piss into a bucket.

Forest Of Death (2023) Horror Movie Review

Interestingly enough, this dude has only been in a few movies and in two of them he played a character called Dylan. I can only assume they realised that if they gave his character an actual name. He wouldn’t respond when referred to on screen. Staring wistfully off into the distance until someone shouted “Dylan!!”.

Stephanie Kirves, as Tracy, is slightly better but not exactly great. She warms up a bit when some of the more dramatic stuff happens later on. But, for the most part, she is awkward and has a tendency to stare at characters with no expression on her face. Chloë Rhoades seems a little more comfortable on camera. Managing to actually emote a little and not wear the same singular expression for the entire movie. That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for her acting skills, though.

Tyler Miller, as jock Tom, seems to try pretty hard and has the most potential of the group. He has some room to grow from this. He seems to have a decent sense of comedy timing and fits the role well. Everyone else is somewhere between awful and “how did they even get involved in acting?”. It’s extremely budget stuff.

The Ali Express of Horror Movie Directors

Direction is what you might expect, here. With Brendan Rudnicki frequently resorting to awkward, poorly scored, montage scenes to kill time. Overusing horror cliches to try and unsettle the viewer. Constructing dumb characters with no self preservation. And putting together numerous scenes that feel almost identical to each other. Making you wonder whether you accidentally rewound the movie. Despite the movie actually being filmed on some fairly decent cameras. And with some relatively sufficient audio equipment. The slightly higher budget technical aspects can’t hide the stink of low budget crap.

Forest Of Death (2023) Horror Movie Review

The truth of the matter is that Brendan Rudnicki is not a horror director. Brendan Rudnicki is a business man with one singular purpose. And that is to make movies as cheaply and as quickly as possible. Get them out into the wild, buy reviews to deceive viewers, turn a profit and get the hell out of there. He tells you as much in his IMDB bio. He is the Ali Express of horror movie directors. And just like buying stuff on Ali Express, you should know what to expect. Cheap, poorly made, potentially hazardous copies of far superior products.

Forest Of Death (2023) Horror Movie Review

This dude writes a couple of crappy scripts, rents a location, grabs a bunch of the cheapest actors around. And sets out with his crew to make as many movies as he possibly can over a two week period. I have no problem with people making money. I respect the hustle but why deceive viewers? People would probably watch this crap without fake reviews, purely for how bad it is.

Final Thoughts and Score

Forest of Death is a painfully formulaic and one dimensional horror movie. Terrible acting, awful direction, no scares, tons of cliches, a wickedly bad score, a predictable plot and dumb characters. This is the exact type of movie you think of when someone mentions Low Budget Horror on Tubi. Content farming shit designed to be quick to produce and quick to turn a profit.

One thing about Forest of Death did impress me, though. I have never seen so many fake reviews for one low budget horror movie in my entire life. For perspective, there are only 208 ratings for this movie on IMDB, as of writing. It has an average score of 4.0/10. There are 85 user reviews. 47 of them give Forest of Death 10/10; 10 reviews give it a 9/10; 11 give it an 8/10.

This film production company has paid for nearly 70 fake reviews. That is insane! Even if you are crazy enough to like this movie, it would never be anything more than a 5/10. DBS Films are not to be trusted when it comes to reviews. They buy reviews en masse for all of their films. The vast majority of which are likely to be just as bad, or worse, than this pile of fly infested shit.

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