Thursday, August 9, 2012


Let's-Make-The-Teacher-Have-A-Miscarriage Club (2010) d. Naito, Eisuke (Japan)

A discomfiting blend of The Bad Seed and The Children’s Hour, where peer pressure, perceived “innocence of youth” and fear of one’s own body play equal roles. A quintet of elementary school girls form the titular group in protest of the “gross” notion of their pregnant homeroom teacher (Aki Miyata) having sex and/or procreating, their attacks growing increasingly sinister and lethal. (As their sociopathic leader, Kaori Kobayashi paints a vivid portrait of a young lady wrestling with her own terrifying femininity).

While writer/director Naito’s camera techniques are more than a little shaky (literally), the concept’s raw power – both of casually amoral youngsters and adults’ willingness to excuse their actions rather than confront the truth – is chilling in its simplicity. A cowed school board, parents in deep denial and the emotional heat of hormonal imbalance create the perfect breeding ground for adolescent evil to hold sway. Best of all, Naito doesn’t feel compelled to unnecessarily pad out the running time – at 62 minutes, he’s told the story he came to tell and told it well.

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