THE LESSON (2015) Reviews and overview

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The Lesson is a 2015 British horror feature film written and directed by Ruth Platt. The UrbanFox Films production stars Robert Hands, Evan Bendall, Michaela Prchalová and Dolya Gavanski.


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


“Platt’s writing and direction are deftly executed, and the acting by all the players is more than competent. While the torture […] will be met with derision and ultimately dissuade some from seeing the film, it does fit in with the extreme methods used to get through to our protagonists.” Mike Wilson, Bloody Disgusting

” …a thought-provoking film that really ought to be seen by those who think that torture p*rn has nothing to offer other than gratuitous gore and needless suffering […] But unfortunately the awkward pacing and seemingly forced arthouse touches don’t do it any favours, making it a film to appreciate but not necessarily enjoy.” Chris Ward, Flickering Myth

” …a brutal, nasty and undeniably effective thriller […] For genre fans, it’s a win win: along with the requisite scenes of gory mayhem, they get invaluable literary lessons on William Blake, Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan and, particularly relevant, the allegorical aspects of Lord of the Flies.” Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

The Lesson is indeed a smart genre film, but it is still plenty bloody. Think of it as To Sir, with Pain. Platt holds a Hobbesian mirror up to nature, keeping viewers locked in her vice-like grip. Taut and rather daring, The Lesson is enthusiastically recommended for horror fans.” Joe Bendel, J.B. Spins

“With Platt’s dialogue so rich in literary references delivered so well by Hands, and with a deep-rooted empathy for Fin already established, the torture section never drags. Instead it plays out like a gripping game of cat and mouse…” Dave Wain, The Schlock Pit

“Ruth Platt’s low-budget labour of love is so very smartly written, and so slippery in its message (given the psychosis of the messenger) that you can forgive the longueurs that bookend Gale’s captive class. A lament for lost potential and a plea for personal and national improvement…” Anton Bitel, Sight & Sound

“Like the film itself, the characters in The Lesson, from Fin, to Jake, to Mr Gale, all have much more going on than what they outwardly show to each other. A great lesson in sustained tension and character driven horror, Ruth Platt has made a stark future cult classic and I can’t wait to see what’s next from her.” Elliott Maguire, UK Horror Scene

Choice dialogue:

Mr. Gale: “I’m not a natural sadist.”

Cast and characters:

  • Robert Hands … Mr. Gale
  • Evan Bendall … Fin
  • Michaela Prchalová … Mia
  • Dolya Gavanski … Tanja
  • Tom Cox … Jake
  • Rory Coltart … Joel
  • Michael Swatton … Fin’s Father
  • Joshua Wedge … Eddie
  • Charlotte Croft … Fin’s Mother

Filming locations:

Oxford, Oxfordshire, England

Technical details:

97 minutes | 1.78: 1 | Dolby Digital (5.1 surround)

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