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Confessions Review

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Junior high teacher Yuko (Matsu) resigns from her job, revealing that her young daughter was murdered by two of her students. Her revenge, though, is already unfolding.

★★★★

Teacher Yuko (Takako Matsu) tells a fractious class that she knows two teens — whom she labels Student A and Student B — killed her four year-old girl, but she’s done something hideous to get her own back. The cycle continues as the ostracised killers react unpredictably. Based on a novel by Kanae Minato, which explains the complex structure and layered characterisations, this is another Japanese schoolyard horror tale, stressing extreme bullying and the weird bubble of Japanese youth culture, but says universal, unsettling things about callous kids. Director Tetsuya Nakashima gets persuasive performances and works outward from a brutal set-up to get inside a world where cruelty has a knock-on effect. Compelling, if not comfortable.

A typically edgy Japanese schoolyard horror, with some serious - and uncomfortable - things to say.

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