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The Faculty

The Faculty (1998)

December. 25,1998
| Horror Science Fiction Mystery

When some very creepy things start happening around school, the kids at Herrington High make the chilling discovery that confirms their worst suspicions: their teachers really are from another planet!


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The Faculty (1998): Dir: Robert Rodriguez / Cast: Elijah Wood, Jordana Brewster, Josh Hartnett, Laura Harris, Clea DuVall: Suppose to represent false identities where aliens poise as teachers for no real reason other than these films love picking on teenagers. It feels like an attack on teachers and authority with the students retaliating at these aliens poised as teachers. Why don't the aliens just stick to the old fashion stealing of the lunch money? These aliens constantly drink water as their source of life. Somebody needs to get them drunk. That ought to screw with their world domination plan. Elijah Wood plays a wiz kid who senses that something is wrong. Laura Harris plays a sunny girl who tries desperately to fit in. Josh Hartnett sells illegal items. Jordana Brewster rounds out the cast discovering a body in an office closet. Lame plot followed by routine hack fest where teenagers become cafeteria food to aliens. It is as juvenile as a horror film can get and contains as much stupidity as the screenwriter can pack in. Directed by Robert Rodriguez who applies the same graphic action that ran rampant throughout his From Dusk Till Dawn, with fine visual effects but acting is bad. For a superior recommendation I recommend the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which was much more fun and inventive. Pointless blood and guts should be avoided by everyone, including aliens. Score: 3 / 10


Word of advice for writers, if your story idea is unoriginal then referencing that fact can give your story more credibility. However referencing how unoriginal your idea is repeatedly will only hammer home the point that we, the audience, should be watching better films.That brings us to the oddity that is The Faculty. This film is entirely a product of its time. You tell right away this film was conceived in an office somewhere to be popular with the MTV generation. The soundtrack is a hodgepodge of what you'd hear on the radio at the time. The setting the film up as a high school version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or rather The Puppet Masters as the film is oh so willing to remind us, feels like shameless pandering. You can even see the jock vs outcast sentiment echoing through American youth at the time, the same sort of cultural sentiment which only a year later escalated into the Columbine Massacre. The film's saving grace was the fact it occurred at a time in which R rated films could be marketed to youths, because let's face it the film wouldn't have worked without the gore and the monster effects.The casting is really off here. Sure there are some great actors. There's also a rare on screen appearance by Jon Stewart. But all in all the casting choices give the film a lack of cohesion, like they just threw a bunch of random people in a movie.There are some great moments in the movie. It's probably worth a watch for the curious, but I wouldn't expect much going into it. It's basically a high school version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers where drugs are used to save the day (it sounds more interesting that it is). There is a plot twist near the end that is is predictable only because of how stupid of a twist it is. You'll be saying to yourself, "I bet... No wait, there's no set up for it.... That's too stupid." The film could have been saved a little more if it played up it's campy elements more, played more to the underlying humor of the concept. There are moments where it does this, for instance the football game where the team has signs with "kill" and the coach is moving with such cartoonishly gleeful gestures. Moments like this are great. Sadly they are few and far between. It's hard to believe Robert Rodriguez directed this.


The Faculty is an excellent,entertaining and underrated SCI-FI-Horror-Thriller that combines great direction,a wonderful cast,a sharp script,fine special effects and a memorable score and soundtrack. All of those elements make The Faculty solid entertainment that's Robert Rodriguez at his best.Set in Ohio,The Faculty tells the story of High School teenagers Casey(Eiljah Wood),Zeke(Josh Hartnett),Delilah(Jordana Brewster),Stokely(Clea DuVall),Stan(Shawn Hatosy)and Marybeth(Laura Harris)who find out that their teachers and fellow students have been taken over and possessed by Aliens. With nowhere to run or hide,the teens decide to fight back against the Aliens and survive.After the critical and Box Office success of Wes Craven's Horror classic Scream in 1996 there was a trend and wave of hip and clever Teen Horror films that were released in theaters during the late 1990s and early 2000s(which also included I Know What You Did Last Summer in 1997 and Urban Legend in 1998)and one of the best Teen Horror films and one of my favorites during this time was director Robert Rodriguez and screenwriter Kevin Williamson collaboration The Faculty,a movie that that was a modest success at the Box Office and is a film that combines Rodriguez's special effects driven style with Williamson's dialog and is Horror movie that's truly underrated and very overlooked. The Faculty is a terrific and memorable SCI-FI-Horror-Thriller that would be described as The Breakfast Club meets Invasion Of The Body Snatchers with a dash of John Carpenter's The Thing and is a movie that gives viewers a fun and interesting take on the Alien invasion genre with High School and with teenagers dealing with adults even though the movie isn't serious. The storyline in The Faculty may not be original or creative but the movie is a non-stop thrill ride from beginning to end giving viewers everything but the kitchen sink with tons of thrills,excitement and suspense that is done in a over the top style that just works. While The Faculty is a SCI-FI-Horror movie it's not a scary one to make you keep your lights on at night,but there are moments in the film that are suspenseful and intense and will gives some viewers jolts and surprises. As for Blood and Gore there isn't much of it in this film but there is bits and pieces that show up in the movie. The screenplay by Kevin Williamson is terrific and memorable,with Williamson's dialog being clever and witty basically bringing the same type of dialog and style he brought to his Scream screenplay which makes The Faculty funny and humorous at times thanks to some of the back and forth dialog with the characters. While the characters and the dialog make reference to other SCI-FI-Horror movies The Faculty isn't as self aware or ironic as Scream was. The main teen characters are a direct homage to the John Hughes Teen/High School classic The Breakfast Club with all of the main characters pretty much representing some of the main stereotypes you would see in other Teen movies(geek,jock,criminal etc)but all of them are well-developed and interesting becoming more and more likable and heroic as the film goes on and we root for them as things become dangerous and chaotic. The ending of The Faculty is amazing,thrilling and filled with excitement,surprises that will leave viewers satisfied. A great ending.The cast is great. Elijah Wood is wonderful as Casey,a nerd. Jordana Brewster is terrific as Delilah,a popular girl Casey has a crush on. Clea DuVall is fantastic as Stoakley,a loner. Shawn Hatosy is great as Stan,a Football jock that's Delilah's boyfriend. Josh Hartnett is amazing as Zeke,a genius who makes drugs. Laura Harris is great as Marybeth,a new girl at school. Famke Janssen(Ms. Burke),Robert Patrick(Coach Willis),Salma Hayak(Nurse Harper),Piper Laurie(Mrs. Olson),Bebe Neuwirth(Principal Drake),Jon Stewart(Professor Furlong),Daniel Van Bargen(Mr. Tate),Christopher McDonald(Mr. Connor),Libby Villari(Mrs. Connor),Usher Raymond(Gabe),Jon Abrahams(Boy),Summer Phoenix(Girl)Danny Masterson(Messed Up Kid),Wiley Wiggins(Messed Up Kid),Duane Martin(Police Officer),Katherine Willis(Police Officer)and Susan Willis(Mrs. Brummel)give good performances as well.The direction by Robert Rodriguez is amazing and stylish,with Rodriquez keeping the camera moving also using freeze frames,slow motion and giving the film a nice style and atmosphere. Fantastic direction,Rodriguez.The score by Marco Beltrami is impressive,suspenseful and intense and matches the tone of the movie. Nice score,Beltrami. There is also a wonderful Pop/Rock soundtrack that includes a great cover of the Pink Floyd song Another Brick In The Wall by the group Class Of 99.The Special and Practical Effects by K.N.B. Efx Group are terrific and effective mixing together practical effects with CGI very well. Great job once again,K.N.B.In final word,if you love Horror films,SCI-FI or Robert Rodriguez,I highly suggest you see The Faculty,an excellent,entertaining and underrated SCI-FI-Horror film that well worth your time. Highly Recommended. 10/10.


Got some special memories of this one because I rented this movie, probably around 1999, and I didn't rent movies that often when I was little, so it was a big deal for me. I rented The Faculty and Dark City, because I was babysitting. I had seen a review of the Faculty, or some sort of news about it on the TV. I live in Norway, and there wasn't that much talk about horror movies in the media/on television, so it definitely got my attention.The Faculty is just plain awesome. It's a straight up classic. I rented it not knowing much about it, and I loved it. The plot is pretty simple, you know the drill, but it is so well made. Great cast! Several of the actors became house hold names. Josh Hartnett and Elijah Woods being the biggest ones. But several of the other cast members also pop up in movies and series from time to time.A lot of big names in this one. Salma Hayek, Famke Janssen, Jordanna Brewser, Usher, Jon Steward, Oh, and of course, T1000 himself - Robert Patrick is in it, and he is awesome. The effects are really good, it has some serious suspense, a couple of scares, it's kind of over the top and goes pretty crazy. But what I like maybe the most is the general atmosphere. I've always been fascinated with American schools, (probably from seeing so much of it in movies and stuff) and I just love seeing movies that take place in high school and college.The movie is just overall cool and comes very close to a 10 from me. Maybe after another viewing it will be!