"The Forest" was one of the only films at the Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Films for which I totally didn't know how to set my expectations. The press brochure described it as a Sci-Fi movie mixed with horror ingredients, fantasy elements and war themes. This is pretty much the vaguest and most incoherent description I ever read, but after having seen the movie, I must admit it's also the most accurate description that anyone could give on this film! What we have here is a genuinely unique cinematic experience, with a grotesque and far-fetched but nevertheless absorbing plot outline, intriguing character portraits and more than enough sudden & abrupt twists to keep you staring at the screen until the end credits role. It's quite a hard task to even begin penning down a brief summary of what's going on, but here goes. During the 1930's Spanish Civil War, Ramon has to hide from the rest of the hostile male community members because of his political views. Luckily his family's estate hides a surreal secret. Once every six months, a gateway to various other dimensions becomes accessible in the middle of a circle of trees in their garden. While Ramon is floating around somewhere unknown, his wife Dora has to lie to the entire community and survive in poverty all by herself. Her position truly becomes unbearable when a squadron of American soldiers gets stationed in the area and resides at Dora's estate. "The Forest" doesn't overwhelm with spectacular actions sequences or expensive digital/visual effects, but instead thrives on odd atmosphere and content. Director Oscar Aibar and writer Albert Sanchez present a very intelligent script, full of dazzling dialogs and genuine human emotions. Stellar performances also from the local Spanish cast AND one familiar Hollywood face, namely Tom Sizemore ("Heat", "Saving Private Ryan", "True Romance"). I don't know how he ever ended up in this modest Spanish gem but so much the better, as it's one of his finest roles in years! Charismatic Tom plays the commander of the American platoon of volunteer soldiers, and naturally he falls for the charms of the vulnerable Dora. Too many memorable moments and brilliant sequences to list, but there's one moment I just have to mention and that is the very last shot of the film. Nothing too short of amazing!