If there is one lesson that I took away from watching the film The Lesson, it’s that I need to make sure I know how to differentiate between nouns and verbs; and I damn well better make sure I know how to define something. Eesh! The Lesson is probably the film that most teachers dream they could reenact, save for maybe some of the extreme violence. Who hasn’t wanted to get a little revenge on delinquent little twerps that do nothing but ruin everything they come near. That’s pretty much the heart and soul of the film, but director Ruth Platt strives to explain a little bit why these kids act this way and hopefully elicit some feelings for the students when the psycho teacher puts them through the wringer. Does it work? Read on for your next lesson.
RUN-TIME: 97 min
ASPECT RATIO: 1.78:1
AUDIO: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
PRODUCTION DATE: 2015
RELEASE DATE: Mar 7, 2017
Fin (Evan Bendall), a lone teen from a broken family, gets caught up in the wrong crowd of delinquent kids in this chilling horror film filled with white-knuckle suspense. When Fin and his friend, Joel (Rory Coltart) act up in class, their English teacher (Robert Hands, Stonehearst Asylum) decides to teach them a lesson they will never forget.
Some teachers have it tough, and in Mr. Gale’s (Robert Hands) case, he has some students that I can only define as demons born from the womb of Satan. They are mean, loud, destructive, intolerable little bastards and eventually the time comes for Mr. Gale to teach a few of them the proper way to listen in class. If only teachers were allowed nailguns in the classroom, the students might pay more attention.
It’s possible that director Ruth Platt’s view of how kids act today might be a bit exaggerated, but I can’t say for sure as I don’t usually go outside to places where idiot teenagers roam freely. Nevertheless, the film effectively makes you hate these kids with a fiery passion, so it makes things a bit easier to swallow when you see how easy it was for teacher Mr. Gale to flip out and take his next lesson to the extreme. In the end, his main goal was to just get through to at least one student, and I guess some brute force was necessary.
What works well in The Lesson, besides Robert Hands stellar acting, is the film’s ability to shift your feelings towards the main character, Fin (Evan Bendall). You start to emphasise with the teenager, as he has been put through some rough situations as a kid, coming from a broken home and having to deal with his feelings towards his mean brother and his hot girlfriend. Near the end, there is a tipping point where you switch who you are rooting for, and the teacher becomes the real villain of the piece. Some may say he was all along, but honestly, I just can’t stand snot nosed brats.
The Lesson does take a bit of time to get to what we are all craving, the violence, but it purposely spends a good amount of time with the teenagers, so that we can better accept their behaviour, at least in Fin’s case. Some may complain that it takes a bit too long to get going, but I didn’t have much a problem with it, as I enjoyed the story and acting from all involved. I will say that I wish a few more cruel students were involved in “the lesson.”
There isn’t anything extraordinary when it comes to talking about the Scream Factory Blu-ray. The disc lacks any special features, but it does make up for it with an excellent, quality transfer and clean audio presentation. Honestly, it’s just nice to see Scream Factory giving lower budgeted films a chance.
The Lesson won’t be a film that I watch often, but maybe once my son grows up to be a teenager, I’ll pop it in for him. Then he can see how to act and not act in front of teachers, lest he gets the hammer. The performances are what sell this movie, and director Ruth Platt should be proud of the story she crafted. While I touch up on my grammar, you can consider buying this Blu-ray.