‘The saddest place in the world. And she is happy to be there.’
The Forest of the Lost Souls – aka A Floresta das Almas Perdidas – is a 2017 Portuguese/United Arab Emirates psychological horror film written and directed by directed by José Pedro Lopes. It stars Daniela Love, Jorge Mota, Mafalda Banquart, Ligia Roque and Lília Lopes.
Ricardo and Carolina are complete strangers that meet seemingly by chance in the “Forest of the Lost Souls”, a place where many people go to commit suicide. These two, a young woman and an old man, are no different than the others as they also came to the forest for this very reason.
They decide to briefly postpone killing themselves in order to explore the forest and also to continue talking to one another, as Ricardo and Carolina find themselves intrigued by one another.
However, as the pair go further into the forest it becomes clear that one of them has other reasons for being in the forest and is not who they would have the other believe them to be and is actually a psychopath…
“As the first theatrical feature being distributed by Wild Eye Releasing (a company known primarily for DTV horror and cult movies), it’s a good entry point: small but offbeat, efficient and effective. It’s the sort of movie that sticks with you not only for the turns it takes, but for the way its horror elements encroach on our day-to-day feelings of safety and security.” Patrick Bromley, Bloody Disgusting
“Lopes’ timing between shocks is buffered by a slower pace, showing us the routines of daily life outside the forest. He relishes drawing the figurative gleaming knife from its sheath, hesitating to even show it to us before driving it into our chests. The Forest of the Lost Souls works because of its simplicity. We’re not burdened with an expanse of backstories and exposition…” Eddie Pasa, DC Filmdom
“The black and white photography is genuinely beautiful. It’s otherworldly play of light and shadow fits the dreamlike nature of the material. Near the end, there is a bizarre, surreal version of stalking that takes place. It’s a near perfect execution of visual tension, with just enough weirdness to send a shiver down your spine.” Monte Light, Horrorfreak News
“The violence is quick and savage, yet intimate. It is not aiming for gore and shock but the feel of real-life violence. Understanding some physical limitations of his psycho killer […] Lopes admittedly had to rethink how his killer dispatched their victims, which helps keep it further grounded in the realm of the possible and uncomfortably real.” Andrew Mack, Screen Anarchy
“The understated acting fits perfectly, and the interaction among the characters is quiet and natural. The plot even deals well with modern technology and the ease with which we can stalk people — I mean, keep in touch — these days. Both thoughtful and macabre, it makes for an excellent psychological horror, demonstrating that you can be happy and content nearly anywhere, if you just approach it the right way.” The Movie Critic Next Door
“With a relatively compact run time of 71 minutes, A Floresta das Almas Perdidas achieves a great deal in its narrative and visual storytelling. It’s a film that offers up complex and riveting characterization that drives the story. The violence is tastefully portrayed however it’s a film that packs an emotional and psychological impact.” Hayley Alice Roberts, Hayley’s Horror Reviews
“The unconventional shifts in plot are fresh and commendable, but at times, they pull the viewer out of the pre-established tone and cast them into what is virtually an entirely different film altogether. The pacing, too, is painstakingly slow throughout the earlier half of the film. […] Still, flaws intact, The Forest of Lost Souls is a unique horror film with assured direction and great performances.” Curt Oglesbee, Horror Geek Life
Cast and characters:
- Daniela Love … Carolina
- Jorge Mota … Ricardo
- Mafalda Banquart … Filipa
- Ligia Roque … Joana
- Lília Lopes … Irene
- Tiago Jácome … Tiago
Caramulo and Porto, Portugal
Zamora, Castilla y León, Spain
The film had its world premiere at the Fantasporto Film Festival on February 26, 2017.
Wild Eye Releasing distributed The Forest of the Lost Souls at various movie houses across North America on August 3, 2018, followed by release on VOD, Blu-ray and DVD.
The film’s working title was O Meu Paraíso Obscuro [“My Dark Paradise”]