Into the Forest is a movie about family. It’s a movie that throws every possible worst case scenario at its titular family to see if they can sink or swim. At the same time, it’s a movie about nature and our place in it, how we adapt to it and the possibilities that are ahead of us when our way of living now and in the future starts to break down. It is a movie full of pain and suffering, but also of hope and faith. With great performances and some wonderfully pensive direction, Into the Forest is a movie that is giving us a glimpse into the future, whether we accept it or not.
The film starts Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood as sisters Nell and Eva. They are living at a remote house in the woods with their father in a not too distant future. But when the power falls and seems as though it is not going to return, they need to learn to fight starvation, disease, other people and each other’s conflicting personalities in the face of what is seeming to be the apocalypse.
Director Patricia Rozema gives her shots a peaceful vibe, allowing the beauty of nature to take over the film as it is literally doing to the world throughout the movie. The visceral quality of the movie during its more brutal moments reveal to us the reality of surviving and the things that need to be done, but are followed up by the happiness and benefit they give.
If there is one point that I didn’t like, it’s right at the end. The entire movie has been throwing in your face the message of adapting to nature and the power of family, but then Eva just spells it all out at the end of the film anyway. I feel like the end of the film would work better symbolically if she didn’t basically say what the movie has been telling us this whole time. Other than that, this movie is a wonderfully hopeful depiction of our future, and a great turn from both Page and Wood.