Earlier this year, I reviewed the terrible Netflix film, Bad Match. To date, it’s inexplicably one of the most viewed posts on this blog. Now several months later and Netflix gives us another stalking thriller. My Teacher My Obsession trades in the Tinder-centric stalker tale for a more Lolita-esque plot. Not too Lolita, mind you. This Netflix thriller takes several opportunities to let the viewer know that its young stalker is 18 years of age. Can My Teacher My Obsession match the true awfulness of Bad Match? Or is there some B-film goodness somewhere in this worn story?
Single-father Chris and his daughter, Riley, arrive in a small town for a new beginning. Initially, things start well for dad and daughter. Chris lands an English teaching job at Riley’s high school and meets a new woman. Shy Riley meets aspiring photojournalist Kyla, and the two instantly hit it off. But things take a dark turn when Kyla becomes infatuated with Chris. As she becomes increasingly obsessed, Chris and and Riley learn that Kyla will do anything to get what she wants.
My Teacher My Obsession Should Be Called to the Principal’s Office
Most people who choose to stream My Teacher My Obsession are going to watch it regardless of reviews. So perhaps the question is not whether My Teacher My Obsession is a good film. Spoiler Alert: It’s not. But is it a ‘fun bad movie’ or just a ‘bad bad movie’? Similarly themed 90’s films like Poison Ivy and The Crush were fun enough to rank as guilty pleasures. Sadly, for the most part, My Teacher My Obsession is just a ‘bad bad movie.’
Think of it like a PG-13 effort at exploitation cinema.
Written by Patrick Robert Young, My Teacher My Obsession wants to have its cake and eat it, too. Think of it like a PG-13 effort at exploitation cinema. The thriller rips its lurid story from tabloid headlines, but proceeds to water it down. It’s actually kind of shocking how lazily the movie moves from each stereotypical plot point. This is the very definition of perfunctory. Protagonist Chris is clueless. Kyla’s mother is clueless. There’s a character whose only purpose is to be victimized to illustrate how far Kyla will go. My Teacher My Obsession cribs and plagiarizes shamelessly, while putting no effort or emotion into any of the developments.
Lazy, Stupid, But Short Enough To Avoid Being Boring
In spite of its lazy and shameless plotting, My Teacher My Obsession isn’t boring. Keep in mind, I’m grading this movie on a curve. Most of my thought process while watching it was that it still wasn’t as bad as Bad Match. There’s absolutely no tension or suspense, but My Teacher My Obsession never overstays its welcome. It moves rather efficiently through its plot contrivances. Director Damian Romay even flashes some stylistic flourishes here and there. She employs an interesting use of colour, bathing her teen vixen in deep shades of red through much of the movie. It’s not quite Dario Argento, but it does serve to separate My Teacher My Obsession from other derivative fare. There’s even one or two decent jump scares in the movie.
Performances Worthy of a Detention
The real villain of My Teacher My Obsession is Young’s screenplay. Nowhere is this more evident than the dialogue. To be fair to the actors, not even a Meryl Streep or Jack Nicholson could make the dialogue in this movie work. It borders on laughable, but at least it gives this dud of a movie some potential B-film credentials. None of the actors walk away from My Teacher My Obsession unscathed. Flat acting abounds in this stalking yawner. I found myself yearning for some scene-chewing to liven things up.
Lazy storytelling is one thing, but My Teacher My Obsession feels like it was written and filmed in a cultural void.
Where My Teacher My Obsession really unnecessarily struggles is its lazy treatment of protagonist Chris. Lazy storytelling is one thing, but My Teacher My Obsession feels like it was written and filmed in a cultural void. English teacher Chris, like most protagonists in this type of thriller, is clueless and easily led astray. While it’s an artifact of noir and neo-noir, the character trope just doesn’t work in 2018. His character gets a free pass in spite of his obvious bad behaviour, while the film absolutely vilifies its teen vixen. The idea that an adult man could be so easily manipulated with no blame attached is a character trope that needs to be retired.
My Teacher My Obsession Neither Good Nor Bad Enough To Recommend
In spite of its utterly generic story and scare-free environment, My Teacher My Obsession is somehow less awful than Bad Match. That’s not necessarily a remarkable feat. But this stinker does show some flourishes of style now and then. As well, Romay manages to capture a little of the lurid fun that similar ’90’s films, Poison Ivy and The Crush, revelled in. Sadly, it’s never stupid nor over-the-top enough to be genuinely fun.
THE PROFESSOR’S FINAL GRADE: D