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MicroReview: The Lesson (2015)



Two schoolboy delinquents learn a lesson that they will never forget when a teacher at the end of his tether decides to abduct them.

Review

Switching things up, writer/director Ruth Platt (feature debut) brings taut horror to the screen in The Lesson. On the surface of the film you have an English teacher who has had enough of schoolboys Fin and Joel's antics and abducts them, and teaches them a violent lesson. Without observing the underlying themes of the film, it is presented as a Brit take on something between Saw and Hostel. And to be honest, it's pretty good at being just that. Teacher, Mr. Gale, is played in glorious aplomb by Robert Hands (Eastenders), taking great joy and care in systematically destroying the boys bodies - and he's a standout in the production.

Platt does a great job of the direction, and the writing is on point too.

Underneath it all we have themes tackling broken homes, the UK school system, death, and grief, which Platt aspires to make relevant, missing the mark on occasion and hitting it on others. Given a bigger budget and more time to finesse the script, it could have been something quite special.

In the end being a torture porn wins out, and it's a pretty good one, especially given the low budget. The acting is solid across the board, Evan Bendall and Rory Coltart doing a good job as Fin and Joel, and Platt being one to watch - although her next feature is not a horror.

Definitely one for the gore hounds, and jolly good stuff.



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