The Faculty Review

by James Brundage (brundage AT alltel DOT net)
December 30th, 1998

The Faculty

Directed by Robert Rodriguez

Written by Kevin Williamson

Starring Elijah Wood, Clea DuVall, Laura Harris, Josh Hartnett, Sean Wayne Hatosy, Jordana Brewster

As Reviewed by James Brundage

    I shouldn't have to review this film. Don't get me wrong -- The Faculty rocks -- but anyone with a half of an IQ point should know that. Think about it. Look at who wrote it, look at who directed it. Admit it, we all loved Scream, Scream 2, and IKWYDLS. And Desperado kicked ass. So why should I have to bother telling you why the collaboration between the writer of Scream and the director of Desperado is the best horror movie of the year.
Not that the competition is high: ISKWYDLS sucked. But, compared to that film, The Faculty is still light years ahead.

    The Faculty has the same plot as The Puppet Masters: parasites are taking over the Earth. This time, however, they sneak in through the back door of Ohio and start taking over a high school in an unnamed football town. And six kids (an anti-social girl, the school nerd, a new girl from Georgia, the editor of the newspaper which has more scandal than The Drudge Report, the ex-quarterback, and the high school drug dealer) have to stop the aliens from taking over the planet.

    As always with Williamson, whom I believe to be a satirist with proportion to a script-writer Kurt Vonnegut, he is setting his sights on something to parody. This time, it's the all-too-cheesy and idiotic sci-fi films. He points out to all of us just how stupid Independence Day was, how much Invasion of the Body Snatchers was a rip-off, and how the monsters always die from the dumbest things (In Puppet Masters, it was a brain disease. In The Faculty, it's caffeine). This alone would have been cool enough for me. But, no, they stuck Rodreguiz behind the camera.

    Now I hated From Dusk till Dawn, but I loved this one. He continues his love affair with the stedicam as he takes the first major scene of the film in a roughly 7-minute tracking shot. He follows the victims during the chase scenes with great precision that rivals John Carpenter's skill. He goes to slow-motion at just the right moment, edits his film until all the errors are tweaked out, and uses our fear of the unknown as good as Speilberg did in Jaws.

    Now I go to the flaws for all of you who haven't left and seen the movie already: the script is as predictable as any you've seen. The "queen" alien is known to you after the first thirty minutes. The dialogue sucks. The performances are atrocious. But, like I said with Blade: to hell with all that. Have some fun.

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