Writer: Takashi Miike (Screenplay) Yusuke Kishi (Novel)
Starring: Shota Sometani, Takayuki Yamada, Fumi Nikaido, Nicole Balsam, Howard Harris
Plot: A popular high school teacher concocts an extreme plan to deal with the rise of bullying and bad behavior among the student body
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Strange Horror
Story: Lesson of the Evil starts by taking us into the High School in Japan, the school is filled with cheating, bullying and worst of all sexual harassment, the teachers even look to new ideas to stop the cheating by blocking phone signals during tests. We focus on Kesiduke (Sometani) and Reika (Nikaido) as they turn to popular teach Seiji Hasumi (Ito) for help during the situation they see wrong.
When Hasumi finds himself searching for a way to end the trouble at the school and his methods prove to be deadly, we are left to wonder which students will become the latest targets of his clean up mission.
Thoughts on Lesson of the Evil
Characters/Performance – Seiji Hasumi is the likeable teacher that the students turn to for help, they are unaware of his darker side as they could become the victims of his decision to go to the extremes to clean up the school. Tetsuro is one of the stricter teachers that takes advantage of the students, Keisuke is the slacker in school, happy to cheat his way through class but never truly bullied from what I could tell. Reika is the girl that falls for Hasumi which plays into the rule book that he has set up making her a potential victim.
Story – This film askes the question, what would a teacher do to clean up the school, well this pushes everything to the extreme in what is part Saw and part Funny Games. The film does have a chance to tackle real issues but fails miserable to tackle them instead focuses too much on just the cheating going on within the school of the problems that are much more serious.
Horror – The horror is all through the idea of a teacher going to the extremes to teach the lessons about cheating.
Settings – We don’t get too many iconic settings, most of the film starts in the school but we also have certain random places for the crimes.
Final Thoughts – This is an overly long horror that tries to give us a shocking film but in the end it is just something that misses a big chance.
Overall: Sloppy horror that doesn’t click.