I was really looking forward to this tale of revenge and learning as the premise sounded entertaining. A teacher, Mr Gale (Hands), who is ridiculed daily by his students, decides to take matters into his own hands and to elevate their learning curves by some extreme teaching methods. You do get what you expect; there are some nasty scenes of violence and abuse. The scene where Mr Gale nails the hand of his student, Fin (Bendall), to the desk looks realistic. It's the realism which could have made this movie something special. I've known families like Fin's and his brother's, Jake (Cox), where the brothers don't get on... to the point of arguing, fighting, and forsaking. I've also known the senseless bullies of Fin and Joel's (Coltart) order. Though I do hope that the scene in the schoolroom isn't that realistic - if it is, I pity the teachers and can understand the twenty-six-grand to study to teach the government are offering. The trouble starts when you get to the tortuous indoctrination. Through all of the bleakness, we are then subjected to a gayfull and lunatic lesson. This departs from reality and enters the demented. Which, in itself wouldn't be a bad thing had Mr Gale been suffering from a mental break. However, this doesn't appear to be the case. Then when you throw in Fin's delusion it was enough to wrench me away from the film, thinking, what the hell(?). From here the story and character of Mr Gale become preposterous and unbelievable. I felt that both the writer and the director, Ruth Platt, were trying too hard to get their point across, making the story appear pompous and pretentious. It's from here on in that the film falls apart. The really ludicrous thing is the scene where Jake's Girlfriend, Tanja (Gavanski), is accosted and forced to join in the lesson. She's worried that Fin's not come home, though his brother doesn't give a damn, so she sets out to find him. She wanders the town aimlessly and just by coincidence comes across Mr Gale. This is absurd because the abduction takes place outside. How did Mr Gale know she was there, let alone that she had an interest in one of his captives. Then there's the timeline which is totally cockeyed by the end of the film. So what started out as an okay film drops into a quagmire of below average revenge torture fodder. If you like your revenge stories and can empathise with teachers then this may be worth a watch, though it could have been much better and even could have made a statement. Though I would say you'd be better off with the Hostel or Saw franchises.
Drama / Horror / Thriller
Drama / Horror / Thriller
Two schoolboy delinquents learn a lesson that they will never forget when a teacher at the end of his tether decides to abduct them.
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April 5, 2019