The Faculty (1998) Poster

(1998)

User Reviews

Review this title
465 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
7/10
Breakfast Club meets The Thing
JimmyG10029 January 2008
Is a rough way of putting it. And never mind those Scream rip-offs or all those other cheap alien/creature-feature films from the 90's. This is a teen horror movie that gives you everything you'd want from a teen movie and everything you'd want from a creature feature, all in one. But what else is to be expected when you got Robert Rodriguez behind the lens? Any other director and this film would be tossed aside as just a teen body snatcher movie. But Robert Rodriguez shows here that he has the style to make it more than that.

Now, I've read the script to this movie before I even saw it and I kept thinking to myself, there has to be another draft of this, no way this could really work and be taken seriously... or as serious as you can take a movie like this. Yet not only was I surprised to see how much of the original script Rodriguez kept in, but I was even more surprised to see how well things actually played out. Sometimes I really love being wrong.

This film delivers, just as much as any other Rodriguez picture that calls back to the good old days of the Grindhouse and makes us forget that those movies weren't even close to par with these "tribute" films that somehow manage to surpass the movies they're tributing. You get everything you want and leave wishing you could spend more time in high school... or at least at this high school.

This film, to me, is the second in Rodriguez's own unofficial Sci-fi Grindhouse trilogy. Starting with From Dusk Till Dawn and ending with Planet Terror. Want to treat yourself to some fun? Watch all three back to back to back. You won't be disappointed.

7/10
59 out of 65 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Sparkling '90s sci-fi/horror hybrid fun!
Vomitron_G3 August 2011
Robert Rodriguez's spirited sci-fi/horror hybrid is one for the books, even if solely for rekindling the 'alien invasion' genre during the '90s. Taken over by alien parasites, this time it's high school teachers who can't be trusted anymore with a small group of students – amongst them soon-to-be famous faces of Josh Hartnett and Elijah Wood – discovering the terrifying truth. Kevin Williamson splendidly has his way with stereotypical teenagers in a clever script stuffed with titillating genre references. All performances are outstanding - particularly Robert Patrick eats up every scene he's in - and the K.N.B. Effects Group delivers some of their best work, mixing CGI with traditional monster mayhem. Even with its plot-twists revealed after a first time viewing, this one's worth revisiting.
28 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Faculty is to Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, as Scream is to Halloween
DisturbedPixie19 December 2008
This is one of those films that you will love if you enjoy sci fi films. It is a satire of one of the best there is out there. Satires are only appreciated by a certain audience. If you didn't like "Heathers", "Scream" or "Shaun of the Dead", then don't bother watching this unless sci-fi comedies is your thing. This isn't just a comedy, it is shocking and has great twists and thrills along the ride. At times it is down right scary. Even sexy (nudity)! It is all around entertaining with some pretty good acting. My personal favorite is the couple that is always fighting, watch out for them! If you loved at least one of the FOUR film versions of "Invasion of The Body Snatchers" then you will truly enjoy the satire of this film, and how much it truly honors previous classics in the way that "Scream" did. Now some say this film is for Teenagers who don't know any better than to think this is a great sci-fi film, but the biggest fan of this film that I know is my 63 year old mother, and I am surely not a teenager anymore.

This film is a classic, and yes, it does feature teenagers as the main cast (not the actors.) But the adult characters make a great performance, and even Jon Stewart is pretty entertaining as the science teacher.

One film that you should stay for the cast credits just for Jon's appearance!
27 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Invasion of the Breakfast Club Snatchers!!
bob the moo9 September 2002
Herrington High School in Ohio has the usual groups of disaffected youths – the jock, the goth, the geek, the prom-queen, the drop out etc. However they are not the only ones acting out of the ordinary – the teaching staff all seem to be acting out of the ordinary – drinking water, acting sinister. Geeky Casey has the idea that the staff have been infected, taken over by aliens using their bodies as hosts. Casey's theory spreads to a group of students who decide to take a stand.

Oh my God – an enjoyable and quite clever teen movie! Something must be wrong! The plot is basically a teen twist on The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but is filled with clever references and jokes related to sci-fi. This makes it stand out from other teen movies in that it cleverly plays with the usual stereotypes and makes them feel fresh. The group itself is close to the usual group that learns to get along and accept each other (a la Breakfast Club) – except here they get along through drugs and the battle against aliens!

The director is better known for his big OTT action stuff but here he does a good job with a slow build up and a real feeling of paranoia. Of course it's not as good as the actual Body Snatchers but it still has a real good feeling of fear and tension. The effects are good but Rodriguez uses them sparingly for the most part helping the mood of uncertainty and fear.

The cast are all good. The teens play the stereotypes well but they are outshone by the adults who all get to ham it up in sinister roles. Many of the adults are wasted in minor roles – Hayek for one is barely in it, and MacDonald deserves more than a few minutes. Patrick is very good considering that it could have easily been his T2 role again – running in that distinctive way etc, but he is suitably sinister. Janssen is also good – transforming from a shy flower into her usual vamp. Cameos from Usher, Summer Phoenix and a seemingly pointless role for Harry Knowles (he's been bought!) don't spoil this.

Overall as a sci-fi horror it's pretty good if not great – there are better films around. But as a teen movie it is head and shoulders above the rest of this rather sorry genre and has enough tension, drama and references to be very enjoyable.
56 out of 65 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
An excellent treatment of a familiar story
london_eye27 April 2005
Of course the story told by this film (aliens land in small Mid-West town and start taking over the humans) is very familiar but it is still a great story and this film tells it as well as any of the others (and better than most). There is a lot of humour, many very good action scenes, and some really nail-biting suspense. But what really makes this film special are the main characters: a delightful group of funny and interesting students, who have to cope with the trials of high-school life as well as the demands of defending the Earth against an insidious alien invasion.

If you know the other films of Robert Rodriguez (Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn) you will find another film which displays the same wit and assured lightness of touch that makes this director's work such a pleasure.

Great Stuff!
95 out of 117 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Great take on the Body Snatchers story
mjw23052 January 2007
Fun and Interesting characters and cool visual effects are the key to this Sci-Fi Thriller, which is largely based on 'The Invasion of the Body Snatchers'

I won't introduce the characters here, as the movie introduces (Clea DuVall, Laura Harris, Josh Hartnett, Shawn Hatosy, Jordana Brewster and Elijah Wood's characters) really well as the students at Herrington High, they each have their own individual personalities that evolve as events in the film unfold.

The Faculty is littered with top names like Robert Patrick, Famke Janssen, Bebe Neuwirth and Salma Hayek who all begin to behave strangely, un-nerving the students.

A small pocket of students begin to believe in a conspiracy among the teachers and it's up to them to save the world from invasion.

Great performances from the cast (Josh Hartnett in particular), a fun script and a cleverly re-written story all conspire to make the Faculty a cracking 100 minutes of all out entertainment.

7/10
39 out of 46 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
it was nice seeing Jordana Brewster in a earlier role
slimshady562312 July 2012
The Faculty is an amazing film. Well-directed by Robert Rodriguez, this film will keep the viewer riveted to the screen. With a good, edgy story line laced with humor and with solid performances given by the stellar cast, the film will hit its mark with those who enjoy well made sci-fi films. Starring Clea DuVall, Josh Hartnett, Jordana Brewster and Elijah Wood those actors make this movie both thrilling and hilarious. This movie brings together six kids from different high school cliques: Casey the geek, Stockly the goth, Delilah the cheerleader, Marybeth the new girl, Zeek the juvenile, and Stan the jock. The plot of the movie is Some aliens take over all the faculty from a school and then try to start taking over the students as well. The queen alien was very scary looking. This film may not be Oscar worthy but it's definitely entertaining, This movie could of used a sequel.
21 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
positive review with caveats
mkultra26 December 1998
It's a Robert Rodriguez film. It's a Kevin Williamson screenplay. You already know that it's in the same vein as'Bodysnatchers,' etc. Anybody who *doesn't* know this but saw and enjoyed the Scream flicks or the "I Know ..." movies is likely to enjoy this.

No, it doesn't really have the same underlying Red Scare theme of the original Bodysnatchers (or Arthur Miller's Crucible), although it *is* about what every modern high school movie seems to be about: how much their presumed roles imposed on teens makes their lives painful, and how great it is to unleash those strictures. Sure, it's not Bergman, but who really expects haute couture from a sci-fi horror flick? Oh, and any 'homophobia' attributed to the movie (as opposed to some of its high school student characters, just as occurs in real life) is questionable at best.

"The Faculty" is no more and no less than another entry in 'new geek cinema,' slightly more intelligent and self-referential than your standard SCI-FI Network fare. Appreciated on its own terms, or anything close to them, it's a lot of fun!
64 out of 83 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Fast-Paced, Shrewdly Presses All the Viewer's Buttons: Takes You on Quite a Cinematic Ride!
KissEnglishPasto2 August 2016
......from Pasto,Colombia...Via: L. A. CA., CALI, COLOMBIA and ORLANDO, FL

Don't you just hate those "friends" who belly laugh harder than anyone in the theater, and then, making conversation after the movie, you ask them, "Wow, you really enjoyed that, didn't you?" and they snap back, "What, are you nuts? That was the worst flick I've seen in years!" Well, that's definitely NOT me.

Despite priding myself on usually disliking a lot of the JUNK churned out by Hollywood, after seeing the FACULTY, and looking into the depths of my soul, I must admit, begrudgingly, it is a rather entertaining movie! Fast-paced, shrewdly pressing all the viewer's buttons, in the right order, it does exactly what its producers want it to: Take you on a cinematic ride!

Still, I'd like to issue TWO Brief Warnings:

1) If You're a Salma Hayek FAN.....Don't Blink! (You just might miss her altogether!) T. O. S. T. = About 4 or 5 minutes!

2) DON'T See IT a Second Time! It's like driving a car with no air in your tires! Believe me, I've tried it...Just doesn't work!

...Certainly, the first time, though, you should have some good fun!

6*...ENJOY/DISFRUUTELA! (Even if it's ONLY ONCE!)

Any comments, questions or observations, in English o en Español, are most welcome!
21 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Campy, ridiculous, but entertaining high school version of Body Snatchers
mstomaso11 May 2005
This film fuses elements of the Breakfast Club with Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Robert Rodrigues makes entertaining films, and does so consistently. The Faculty is no exception, though the formula is radically different from his standard approach. In place of large guns, spectacular stunt choreography and a silly soundtrack, Rodrigues made "The Faculty" with a classy ensemble cast and some awesome special effects. The script is also very good, featuring strong characterization and interesting dialog. All of these elements make The Faculty a very watchable film, and make up for the completely unoriginal and not very coherent plot.

The film begins as a paranoiac comedy about a typical high school where the students and faculty see each other as alien species. Ho hum. However, after about 20 minutes of set-up, the faculty really starts to become an alien species, as they are assimilated by water-loving parasites with very bad attitudes and a kind of group consciousness straight out of Invasion of The Body Snatchers and Star Trek's Borg. Six kids, very unlikely team-mates representing the archetypal teenage personalities of the postmodern world, team up to try to save the world, once they realize that the aliens can be driven off by, of all things, caffeine. Especially impressive are Elijah Wood, Piper Laurie, Robert Patrick, Josh Hartnett and Clea DuVall.

Like most of Rodrigues' films, The Faculty never loses its sense of humor, and pulls off its own absurdity with artful visualization and a tight, driving pace. Unlike many of Rodrigues' films, however, The Faculty is disposable - it's not really meant to be viewed more than once. See it if you're a Rodrigues fan, or somebody who enjoys the obscure but growing genre of horror-comedy.
49 out of 68 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Pretty entertaining
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews7 March 2004
This is pretty much the typical slasher, with just one twist. It's also helped by the fact that there's other things going on than just a bunch of killings; there are conflicts between the characters from the very beginning, before the killing starts. This is pretty unique for a slasher, and it definitely helps the film become more interesting. The plot is interesting, well, more interesting than slasher plots usually are. The acting is pretty much all very good, the actors nearly all give top-notch performances. The special effects are good, and mostly pretty convincing. I've heard a lot of people complain that this movie is a ripoff of the Carpenter classic "The Thing". While that film is the better of the two, this is by no means a simple ripoff. The plot in this is not the same, there are just a few striking similarities. I would rather think of it as a reference, something to honor Carpenter's abilities - Rodriguez was inspired by Carpenter, after all. I would recommend this to pretty much anyone who enjoys slasher movies, sci-fi flicks, or crossovers of the two genres. It's very enjoyable; the only thing I hated was that they had casted Elijah "babyface" Wood in one of the leads... oh well. You can't always enjoy all aspects of a film. 7/10
60 out of 85 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
What a ride
acedj14 November 2019
The Faculty is a great sci-fy movie dealing with an alien invasion. Clearly by the title, one can surmise that the invasion starts with the absorption of the teachers at the local school. It is up to a bands of students, all from vastly different social cliques, to thwart the invasion. This movie features the best parts of many movies that came before it. There are huge elements of The Thing, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, and even The Breakfast Club thrown together. With Robert Patrick cast in a role, you might even see some of T2 in it as well. All of these elements were thrown in a blender, and out popped this fantastic movie. The cast is made up of a lot of young actors that go one to have some pretty great careers. If you like Penny Dreadful, well a very young Josh Hartnet is here. Fast and the Furious? Jordana Brewster is in her first role. The Lord Of The Rings? Mr. Elijah Wood, though this is far from his first role. There are also some established actors here like Bebe Neuwirth, you might know her from Cheers, and Jon Stewart, Salma Hayek, Famke Janssen. My point? The cast is hugely talented and does a tremendous job All in all if you love sci-fi horror movies, there is nothing to not like about this offering.
11 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Today's lesson: kicking alien ass.
BA_Harrison2 March 2012
Originality is not The Faculty's strongest suit, the basic plot being a reworking of Invasion of the Bodysnatchers (with a touch of Night of the Creeps and The Thing chucked in for good measure), its characters your typical high-school movie stereotypes (The Jock, The Nerd, The Outcast, The Stoner, The Head Cheerleader, The Hard-ass Coach, The Tough Principal etcetera etcetera.) and even the movie poster displaying very little imagination.

But although this kind of thing has been done many, many times before, the film still proves to be hugely entertaining thanks to a sharp script by Kevin Williamson, assured direction by Robert Rodriguez, great special effects (particularly the practical MUFX by KNB), and a cool cast including Bebe Neuwirth (40 and fabulous), Jordana Brewster, Salma Hayek, Elijah Wood, Robert Patrick, Clea DuVall, Famke Janssen (hubba, hubba), Usher, Laura Harris (naked!) and Piper Laurie. Hell, even Josh Hartnett and his bad hair didn't rankle me that much, which is a change.

The movie opens brilliantly with an amazingly tense scene (Williamson having had prior experience in writing such scary openings with Scream and Scream 2), and the excitement continues unabated until the spectacular finale which features one hell of a cool monster, a Cthulu style alien with lots of gnarly teeth and thrashing tentacles. Along the way, Salma, Famke, and Bebe get all sexed up, Josh gets all macho with a makeshift machete, Elijah takes drugs, and Harry Knowles hoists his fat ass out of his armchair for a pointless cameo. It all adds up to a whole heap of fun.
21 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Another smart and pop-culturally hip film from Williamson.
punch878 November 2019
This smart, involving sci-fi picture, set in an Ohio high school, pays homage to several genre faves, notably Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Thing.
8 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
good sci fi horror.
deatman927 October 2012
I remember first seeing this movie when I was young and I really liked it. I watched it again last night and nothing has changed. The idea is a fresh new twist on a common story and it has a great cast. Probably the best cast of any sci-fi horror that comes to mind.Its entertaining but not that scary.

This movie is about a group of students that attend high school. Everything goes along as normal until one day they start noticing their teachers acting very strange. After witnessing the teachers attack another teacher they reason the teachers have been taken over by aliens and the students are next.

This movie was actually pretty good even the monster that looked pretty cheesy didn't take anything away from this. Definitely a fun movie and entertaining watch.
10 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
One of my favorites.
Jack the Ripper188824 April 2003
When I first saw SCREAM, I loved it and then all I ever wanted to see after it was horror movies. So, that's where I started my obsession with horror flicks, but on to another subject...

I also enjoyed Kevin Williamson's I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER and as you could probably tell, I was equally excited to see what this movie would be like. Well, purely, this is one of my favorite horror films.

Movies like HALLOWEEN, DRACULA, and Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 PSYCHO are only held in such high regard as horror films because they were all novelties. Movies like those hadn't been made a thousand times over which is why most people are always calling them the "scariest". Well, no they are not the scariest. But since they were some of the first of their kinds, they say that they are.

Well, the plot of THE FACULTY has been done before. But not quite so well. While I didn't really think Kevin Williamson's TEACHING MRS. TINGLE was all that good, THE FACULTY is still one of his better works. Director Robert Rodriguez (FROM DUSK TILL DAWN..also a good movie) directs this hard-hitting sci-fi/horror/comedy/thriller/action movie. Literally, there is a little bit of everything here. The movie is not scary, but there is a small shock factor thrown in.

All in all, most people should be able to find something fun out this movie. THE FACULTY: 5/5.
14 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Loved this Movie!
mathmaniac11 March 2007
I didn't know a lot about this movie when I taped it - I only knew that it was a thriller and it had Elijah Wood in it. Also, the title was vaguely familiar - hmmm, did it have a good rep but I had never seen it?

So I taped it (it was on at 2 a.m. on a network station) and finally got around to watching it. Loved, loved, loved this movie! And that's coming from me, a hater of teen horror flicks.

First, there's the distraction, when you don't know what film you are watching, of all the 'Oh, Bebe Neuwirth! Oh, Josh Hartnett! Oh, John Stewart! Oh, Usher! Oh, Salma Hayek!' etc., etc.' when you really aren't expecting much. Then there are no distractions as the movie zoomed along steadily, dropping clues, setting up conflicts only to have alliances shift and new conflicts reveal themselves.

One reason I never watch teen horror flicks is the pace is too regular. It's as if the director and writer can't gamble letting 3 minutes go by without someone dying a gory death to some telegraphic music.

There wasn't too much of that in this movie. I was surprised when Josh Hartnett's character took off with one of the aliens in the back seat. In a cheesier movie, there would be a cut to some other fast and furious slasher action to sort of bring up the intensity. There was just enough time in the wild car scene to keep your attention while you didn't have enough time to ponder how he was going to dump the alien.

I liked the tired looking high school and the ordinary houses the kids lived in. None of that 'we're living in Ohio but the houses came from Sherman Oaks.'

This movie did everything a movie is supposed to do - entertain. When I saw that it was a Robert Rodriguez film, there was an 'A HA!' moment because this is just what I thought his film 'El Mariachi' accomplished - it entertained. After the movie ended, you had that satisfied feeling that you had been amused and involved and sat on the edge of your seat sometimes.

Good flick! That's high praise for this genre.
8 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Likable Though Totally Unoriginal
Theo Robertson7 April 2014
One of the problems of coming up with a story is coming up with an original story . In fact there's no such thing as an original story since long before my lifetime so the problem is trying to bring an unoriginal story to the table and developing in an entirely new way . What about a new spin on INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS ? How about setting it in an American high school and doing everything in a post modernist manner where the characters refer to all these alien infiltration movies ? If that isn't bad enough get Robert Rodriguez to direct it and you'll have a recipe for disaster

I'm happy to report that years after THE FACULTY was produced it's far from a disaster but it suffers from two slight problems that it can't overcome . First of all the story is too overly familiar to be entirely successful . The 1978 remake of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS really surpassed the original and the terrifying premise was developed to its full potential and isn't a film you'll forget in a hurray . Compared to that masterpiece anything else is going to be lacking in comparison . Secondly there was a whole slew of movies in the 1990s either written by or inspired by screenwriter Kevin Williamson like SCREAM where smart ass teenagers find themselves in the same situation as other cinematic teenagers have been and feel the need to reference this . This fad died out as quickly as it appeared which means there's a very dated quality in watching these type of films almost twenty years later

Not to be totally negative it is one of Rodriguez better films and he resists the temptation to bring stupid humour and unneeded gore to the movie . In fact the lack of gore makes it a strangely likable film in an era where horror films revolve around torture porn . The likability extends to the characters where even the rebellious drug dealing bad kid is a good kid at heart and seizes the opportunity to save the day . Compare this to the anti-heroes of ATTACK THE BLOCK who are total and absolute scum throughout the entire narrative and you notice the world of difference . . One thing Rodriguez could have done a bit better is bring a sense of crushing fear that seems to be missing here . That said as a sci-fi horror movie there's been a lot worse before or since this one
11 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Interesting.....
Scottie-1224 May 1999
Finally after the appalling "I Know what you did Last Summer" franchise, writer Kevin Williamson comes back strong with this enjoyable slice of movie literate, sci-fi black comedy.

Cult director Robert Rodriguez skilfully mixes shocks with laughs in this pseudo-remake of "Body Snatcher" movies. If you are willing to sit back and disconnect your brain for two hours, you could naturally do a lot worse than this.

Recommended! 8/10
15 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
A tremendously exciting time
Dragoneyed3639 February 2008
The Faculty, a masterpiece brought to us by the amazing Robert Rodrgiguez, is an excellently written, skillfully displayed and enjoyable experience all around that I am glad to say is easily one of my favorite movies. The characters are absolutely brilliant and likable from the get-go, and they're outstandingly portrayed by the actors/actresses.

Robert Rodriguez has brilliant direction and all the actors/actresses capture the essence and pizazz of the film perfectly to where you're loving every minute this story plays out and the characters interact. The characters are all likable and have their own different personalities to where we care for at least one. The dialogue is spectacular with tons of references to film industry legends and marvels that you're bound to find nifty.

The opening chase scene pulled me in and then the rest of the script and acting was what kept my attention because of how admirably it's played out, as I have mentioned. I found myself loving the whole atmosphere, which was set up perfectly, and the story is fun and entertaining. The main alien, when you find out who it is, is not scary or even fresh, but they're intimidating and exciting because of how well the plot is revealed and how wonderful the characacter's work. Another venerable trait is how they are intimidating without the crew trying way too hard to make them seem like they're this cool, edgy alien that you should all be terrified of.

The Faculty delivers, and it's an exhilarating ride from beginning to end loaded with humorous dialogue, great action and is brimming with virtuosity. Though some find it average and a bit overrated, I think it is deserving of much more appreciation and acclaim than it receives. Magnificent film, job very well done.
9 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
90s teen movies meet 80s B-movie sci-fi. A great homage to old-school Sci-fi and a surprisingly well-crafted classic alien invasion story with a stellar cast.
quiqueperezsoler26 April 2020
The film's nostalgic throwbacks to John Carpenter's alien-related work, specially The Thing(1982), with the influence of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers(1978)" and the at the time popular "Men In Black(1996)"; make for a completely self-aware and entertaining experience enhanced by the great performances of the lead cast and a surprisingly well-crafted mystery plot.

Long gone were the times were old school alien invasion movies were the pinnacle of sci-fi movies, and this coming from a today 24 year-old. The 80s and 90s provided amazing pulp-inspired horror and sci-fi movies with over the top plots but engaging characters and a coherent self-contained story. Movies which, while over the top and cliched, provided not only an amusing cinematic experience but also added something new to the genre.

The film is aware of how cheesy and campy it is as proven not only by its director Robert Rodriguez who will be known for his astonishing B-inspired horror movies, but also by the personalities of the lead cast and especially the conclusion of the story. While the plot might be at times predictable, the movies of the similar-plot genre stand out by the execution and craftiness of the story and this film is no exception. The story grounds itself in the premise that such a concept can only take place in fiction and thus, like the movie Logan(2017) did with the stories of the X-men, provided a story in which they were proven wrong with the notion that "fiction is inspired in real life events".

While the movie thrives with its campy sci-fi B-movie aspects, it also provides a well-realised scientific base (for example, the way to kill the aliens) and a premise-deconstructing approach by providing an almost realistic reaction to such an event of ever taking place making both tones clash sometimes. That is, the movie at times might feel over-exaggerated for the sake of amusement but it never fully commits to it as it provides some realistic scenes of handling such an event. However, both tones are perfectly written and therefore provide a deeper value to the movie.

IN CONCLUSION, the film is an entertaining, well-written teen sci-fi thriller movie with engaging but at times too-cliche characters. It pays homage to sci-fi B-movies-inspired stories like John Carpenter's The Thing and Invasion of the Body Snatchers; as well as 80s teen horror movies in the backdrop of a classic 90s teen movie setting. It has moments of proper character fleshing out as well as convincing measures to prevent such a fictional event.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Schools out forever.
mpower-859072 January 2019
In the prime of dimension films, when films had that 90's mystery when all you could do is see a trailer and that was it you would go to the movies or rent it at the local blockbuster.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
An Above Average Teenage Alien Horror
tabuno20 January 2019
18 October 2008. There is an undercurrent of "The Breakfast Club" meets "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" in this edgy horror/sci fi monster thriller that incorporates teenage angst, particularly in the beginning half of the movie. The build is nice. There is even a decent attempt at emotional connectivity during the climax that is rarely accomplished. The movie seems to waiver on the dark humor aspects and isn't sure what direction to take the movie and probably missed an opportunity to incorporate the novelty of teenager comedy to balance off this movie or playing it real straight. Overall, this is horror movie with a good dose of relational insight along with a number of twists and turns that for the most part work. The movie, however, loses a bit of its hard edged freshness and descends somewhat into the traditional horror clichés towards the end without really crashing and instead ends with an acceptable ending. 7/10.
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
A nice mix of horror and sci-fi clichés in high school
departed0720 January 2008
"The Faculty" is called "The Breakfast Club" meets "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" mixed with everything you've ever seen on screen from high school to science fiction. Something has infected a small community in Texas where a parasite out of the skies hits a high school with students and teachers becoming victims with only a group of outcasts doing something about the situation. Josh Hartnett (Black Hawk Down) plays the druggie/secret genius who has a major affection for nerdy teacher (Famke Janssen); Elijah Wood (The Lord of the Rings) is the geek who gets his groin crunched by the flagpole who thinks that his alien paranoia has come to life; Clea Duvall (no relation to Robert Duvall) is a student who has people questioning if she's a lesbian; Laura Harris is the new student taking interest in Josh Hartnett; Shawn Hatosy is a jock who wants to concentrate on academics while Jordana Brewster (The Fast and the Furious) is the "It" girl. The film is directed by Robert Rodriguez while the screenplay is written by Kevin Williamson in which like Scream has big references to everything.

Overall, a cool flick.
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
A fun tongue-in-cheek referential horror film from the writer of "Scream"...
MovieAddict201619 January 2004
THE FACULTY

A Film Review by John Ulmer (Copyright, 2004)

"The Faculty" piggybacks a lot of great horror films, but also provides a great modern perspective of them all in this multi-remake. Its references range from "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (the film's primary inspiration), to "Pod People." But this is no surprise -- the film was penned by Kevin Williamson, the guy behind the self-aware horror hit "Scream" One and Two, as well as "I Know What You Did Last Summer." (One of my least favorite horror films of all time, surprisingly.)

This is one of his best efforts. It involves a pack of kids at a high school in Idaho who begin to suspect that their teachers are aliens from another planet. A comical idea, yes? That's what I thought. Then I started getting into the movie and realized that it was one of the most fun -- if silliest -- horror films in recent memory.

John Hughes would love this film. We have The Nerd (Elijah Wood), The Criminal (Josh Hartnett), The Jock (Shawn Hatosy), The Princess (Jordanna Brewster), The New Hot Babe (Laura Harris), and The Basketcase (Clea DuVall).

As I sit at my keyboard and recall the plot and characters, I realize just how routine and clichéd the film really is. But none of these clichés struck me as I viewed the film, which is a bit startling in retrospect.

The Nerd, a pre-"Lord of the Rings" Elijah Wood, begins to suspect that his teachers are aliens after the football coach (Patrick Stewart, the T-1000 from "Terminator 2") inserts a strange alien creature into another teacher's (Salma Hayek) ear. A moment later she is fine, and rejects the boy's claims that the coach assaulted her.

Then the school begins to be taken over by the alien species, which thrive on H20 and seem intent on taking over the entire planet. Before they do, however, the pack of kids form together and try to stop the aliens. The Criminal (who is really smart but plays down his genius) creates caffeine-based drugs at his home that dehydrate the aliens and destroy them. So with drugs in hand, the kids march against the aliens in an effort to stop the queen alien. "Since when did you become Sigourney Weaver?" one of the kids asks another.

Where, I wonder, are these kids' parents? As these events go on, they seem pretty careless. The Criminal has an entire drug factory in the basement of his house. Do his parents know this? Do they even care? The film doesn't provide a very large backdrop. It is so weak with character introductions, in fact, that it supplies us with freeze-frame name credits every time we see one of the kids' faces. (This is usually an early warning side of a bad movie -- check out "Dude, Where's My Car?" if you need more proof.)

The cast is pretty impressive; along with all the other actors I mentioned above, there's also Christopher McDonald, Jon Stewart, Piper Laurie and Famke Janssen. Pretty impressive. I wondered what drew them to the project before I saw the movie. Then I understood.

This is fun. People don't see the fun in this movie because they criticize the flaws too much. It's not meant to be taken seriously -- in case you haven't figured out by now, "The Faculty" is entirely referential and tongue-in-cheek. It's not a remake, as so many critics perceived after their screenings. It's a subtly funny parody.

The film is directed by Robert Rodriguez, who is infamous for having strong style but weak plots. His film "El Mariachi" was the breakthrough, and it was followed by two sequels, "Desperado" and "Once Upon a Time in Mexico," both starring Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek. Hayek is in just about every single one of Rodriguez's films -- she was even in last year's "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over." I wonder if his inspiration is John Hughes, who constantly cast Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald and John Candy in his films.

Here Hayek has a small part, and the film mostly belongs to the teenage characters. As I think over everything that happened in the movie, it's almost laughably bad -- the things that happen are ridiculous. Very clichéd.

But yet I had a lot of fun watching "The Faculty," and any movie that convinces me it isn't stupid when, in fact, it is, is worthy of a recommendation in my book. This is a well-done horror film. I wish they were all as fun and tongue-in-cheek as "The Faculty." Then I wouldn't hate the genre as much as I do at the present.

3.5/5 stars.

  • John Ulmer
15 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed