Lesson of Evil – Japan, 2012

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Aku no Kyōten (悪の教典 literally, “Lesson of Evil”), known in English as Lesson of Evil and Lesson of the Evil is a 2012 Japanese slasher thriller feature film directed by Takashi Miike, starring Hideaki Itō, Takayuki Yamada and Mitsuru Fukikoshi.

It is an adaptation of Yusuke Kishi’s 2010 novel of the same name.

Plot:

An English teacher named Seiji Hasumi (Hideaki Itō) is loved by his students and respected by his peers. Graduated from Harvard College with a MBA, and worked in Morgan Stanley for two years, Hasumi is returned to Japan to pursue high school teaching career. However, his outward charm masks his true nature.

In reality, Hasumi is a sociopath who is unable to feel empathy for other human beings. Specifically, he has a severe antisocial personality disorder. Having killed both of his parents in the age of fourteen, Hasumi turns into a master-minded sociopath killer.

During his time in the States, Hasumi met a partner in crime who thinks he shares the same “hobby” as Hasumi – killing people for fun. Together, they killed people many times. Hasumi eventually killed his partner in crime, for he thinks he is not killing people for fun but to do it for the will of the God.

Back in Japan with his mental condition, Hasumi chooses to deal with problems like bullying and overbearing “monster parents” by systematically murdering his students and parents…

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Reviews:

…  Lesson of the Evil will be remembered largely for its admittedly compelling ‘fish-in-a-barrel’ school massacre sequence, which gives both the audience and the sleepwalking director an invigorating slap in the face.  But as a horror film, the prolific Japanese director’s third film so far this year is undone by a fatal lack of suspense and the sheer haste with which script and package were clearly assembled.’ Lee Marshall, Screen

“Miike has of course never been one to bother with the finer points of taste, let alone decency, yet given recent history, there’s something particularly troubling about a gleeful gorefest that climaxes with high-school students being mowed down by a psychopath.’ Variety

Lesson of Evil Third Window Films Blu-ray

Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.co.uk

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“While perhaps a little too cold, mocking and excessive to be taken seriously or to be emotionally affecting as well as viscerally shocking, it’s a fantastic piece of well-crafted, gleefully malicious and outrageous shock cinema.” James  Mudge, Beyond Hollywood

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