My Teacher, My Obsession – review (Netflix)

English teacher Chris Sumner (Rusty Joiner) and his daughter, Riley (Laura Bilgeri), move to a new town after Chris splits with Riley’s mother due to her having an affair. Riley, a bit of a loner, meets Kyla (Lucy Loken), another student who is also a loner, given to taking photos around the school campus.

Kyla sees Chris on his first day and takes a photo of him. Chris is an attractive man, something noted by Tricia (Alexandra DeBerry), the resident hot, popular girl at school. Kyla befriends Riley, even though she is besotted with her father. Kyla’s mother, Jess (Jana Lee Hamblin), begins to see a new man. It turns out to be Chris.

Kyla sees Tricia befriending Riley and gets jealous, warning her not to hang out with Tricia. Tricia tells Riley that Kyla is the bad one. Chris comes to take Jess out for a date. Kyla sabotages her mother’s date with Chris by spilling water on his clothes and suggesting that they have the date in the house.

Back at school, Kyla, having heard that Riley was hanging out with Tricia from her father, ignores Riley. Riley tries to talk to her but Kyla refuses. Kyla threatens Tricia. Her obsession with Chris is getting worse. She frames Tricia for bullying by planting pictures of herself in her locker, making people believe Tricia did it. She also steals Tricia’s mobile phone, sending sexual texts to Chris. Tricia gets expelled.

Riley gets her mother to look at Chris’ phone so as she can see the texts from Tricia’s phone. Jess splits up with Chris. Kyla immediately begins to seduce Chris. Kyla persuades Riley to have an eighteenth birthday party. At the party, Kyla seduces Chris in the bedroom. Riley walks in on them and is furious. Kyla’s goes up a level as she realises that Chris sees his daughter as more important than her.

How you like me now?

Riley tells Jess about her father and Kyla. Kyla tells her mother that she is jealous and that Chris is hers and they are in love. Chris tries to tell Kyla that they cannot work. She uses Tricia to get to him, framing her once again, this time for assault, breaking her own finger to make the attack look convincing. Tricia gets arrested.

In the hospital, Jess tells Kyla that she must not see Chris anymore. Riley tells her that her dad is going to stay away from her. Kyla believes that Chris still wants her, even as he tells her he has no interest in her. Chris tells her he is going to leave the school, as he realises her obsession is delusional. Kyla grabs a scalpel and leaves the hospital.

At the school, Kyla stabs Riley, telling her that Chris cannot have both of them in his life. She finds Chris in his office and threatens him with the scalpel, telling him that they can start a new family. He fights her off of him. She kicks out at him and he is knocked unconscious. A janitor, hearing the commotion, comes to check the office.

Kyla cuts his throat. She chases a still alive but bleeding Riley through the school corridors. They fight in the photography darkroom and Riley knocks her unconscious. The police and ambulance services turn up and take them all away.

Sometime later, Riley and Chris have moved again. Riley is going to college and Chris is about to start in a new post. As Riley drives off, Kyla pops out of the shadows. The end.

I want to shag your dad.

My Teacher, My Obsession is so much hokum. Obviously, with a title that bad, it was never going to be a masterwork or even passably good, but the filmmakers really did not even try to pretend they were making a good film.

Using the old “obsessive, stalker female” trope made famous by far better films—Play Misty For Me, Fatal Attraction, MiseryMy Teacher, My Obsession is so lazy that it is laughable. Loken’s Kyla does not even bother to begin as an even mildly normal student, introduced as a photo-snapping loner from the outset.

The moment she claps eyes on Joiner’s Chris, she is besotted. How her own mother seems to have no idea that her daughter is so mentally unstable is a little bit of a worry. Bilgeri’s Riley not noticing that Kyla seemed to have an unhealthy attraction to her father, even though Kyla was drooling every time she saw the man, is ridiculous.

Kyla’s genius—or the entire town’s stupidity—gets Tricia expelled and arrested, with nary a finger pointed in the direction of the crazed Kyla. Jess, prompted by her loony daughter, immediately thinks the worst of Chris just on the strength of a few texts.

Truth be told, all the glaring plot holes are not really an issue; the film and story, such as it is, is not aiming for coherence or even to make sense. Written by Patrick Robert Young, who I assume was drunk, and directed by Damian Romay, My Teacher, My Obsession, is an obsessive thriller by numbers, ticking boxes whilst bringing nothing at all new to the genre.

The acting is okay, with DeBerry’s Tricia probably being the best performance, which is saying a lot as she is on the screen for less than ten minutes. The rest of the actors are not bad, though they do seem to be acting, making their performances less appealing.

The climax of the film is rushed and makes a film that was already poor even worse, the script, which had not been particularly notable up until that point, taking a definite downturn in quality as Kyla goes fully homicidal crazy.

My Teacher, My Obsession is watchable for all of the wrong reasons. It will leave you incredulous at how bad it is, like a fake soap opera in a sitcom. If you are a fan of bad movies, you may enjoy My Teacher, My Obsession; otherwise, avoid.

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