A couple of garden variety juvenile delinquents cause all manner of foolish mayhem, but the most foolish of all is giving static to their teacher, Mr. Gale. You see, ol’ Mr. G is a raving lunatic, the kind of madmen that would kidnap an unruly child, lock them in his basement and then go full on torture porn as he gives them a crash course in English Lit. 101.
This being the type of flick it is, I was kind of turned off from The Lesson from the get-go (torture porn just ain’t my bag baby), but I have to admit, for what it is, this fright flick isn’t bad. The beginning plays out like a drama as we are introduced to our scruffy “heroes” and their rough and tumble world. This goes on for nearly a half hour, so there is a good long stretch before gorehounds will be treated to a big bowl of any steaming red sauce, but that being said, the strong acting of the leads makes us care about them to a degree, which is a stumbling block most films of this ilk rarely hurdle. Granted, once the ghoulish games begin in earnest, and Gale begins his deviltry upon our hapless lads, things do indeed get suitably vicious, and the gore on display is rather impressive given the budget of this flick, so the wait does have a payoff.
Speaking of things financially related, while The Lesson may have been made for less, you wouldn’t guess it from some of the shots achieved by first time Writer/Director Ruth Platt. There are some truly beautiful images in this film (particularly in the first half), but the grizzly goings-on are presented with a flair as well. Also of note is the amazing performance of Robert Hands as Gale; this dude delivers when it comes to being a cultured sadist of the highest order, and his performance alone makes this flick a recommended watch from your’s cruelly.
That’s the meat of The Lesson, but what of the gravy? Well, the transfer used looks great…other than that you get a trailer, so it’s a dry meal there my fiends.
While not setting the world alight with it’s blazing originality, The Lesson nevertheless entertains due in no small part by the top shelf acting on display as well as some striking cinematography. The pathos inherit in the characterizations make it a step above your average torture-centric fright flick, and therefore this flick comes recommended!