The Faculty Reviewby DeWyNGaLe (dewyngale AT aol DOT com)
February 7th, 1999
THE FACULTY by DeWyNGaLe * * * 1 / 2
Kevin Williamson is now without a doubt one of the most acclaimed writers in America today. He has worked hard to get where he is, and with The Faculty, he proves that he is a grade-a writer. In his latest movie, The Faculty, he teams up with Robert Rodriguez director of From Dusk Till Dawn and Desperado. How could it lose?? It didn't at all. In The Faculty, the plot is that aliens are taking over the teachers at Harrington High. The high school is located in a pretty crummy part of Ohio, where it isn't very nice at all. One attraction that the city loves is the football games every Friday night. Almost the entire town is there. As we see more into the high school, we learn about the students. There is a large variety of different types of people, unlike many other movies.
We are introduced to Casey, played by the upcoming Elijah Wood. Casey is the kind of kid who gets beat up every day, and he is the school geek. Supposedly, every school has a kid like him, and Casey is that kid in Harrington High. We see alot of Casey throughout the movie, and his personality kind of grows on to you. We also meet Zeke. Supposedly, there is also one of Zeke in every school. Zeke is played by the also upcoming Josh Hartnett. Zeke is the class clown. He sells drugs and other related items to the students at Harrington High. Stan is played by Shawn Hatosy. He gets terrible grades and is the captain of the football team. He is dating Deliah played by Jordana Brewster. She is the school gossiper, and she writes for the school paper. Stokely is a very different person. She is played by Clea DuVall and is extremely mean to everyone else. She has no friends, wears all black, and there is a dirty rumour about her around school that she is a lesbian. Marybeth (Laura Harris) is the new girl in school. She came from Georgia and doesn't have many friends considering she is brand new to the school. She tries making friends with Stokely, but Stokely just tells her off.
Now, meet the faculty. There is Mr. Furlong, (Jon Stewart) the science teacher, Principal Drake (Bebe Neuwirth), Nurse Harper (Salma Hayek), Coach Wills (Robert Patrick), Miss Burke, (Famke Janssen) the English teacher, Mr. Tate (Daniel Von Bargen), and Miss Olsen (Piper Laurie). One by one, the faculty is turned to aliens who want the students and the entire city turned into the same species. The faculty needs water as much as possible for some reason. They drink and drink and drink. A teacher runs to a shower but dries out because did not have enough water. At this point, the students are getting a little bit suspicious as the teacher's personalities completely change.
The first time they know for sure something is going on is when Deliah and Casey sneak into the faculty lounge. They hide in the closet when some of the staff members enter. They find a body of a teacher in the closet and they see some weird events occur among the teachers as they watch through the cracks. They run and now the teachers now that the students know. When Casey and Deliah try to inform others, people just think they are crazy. At night, Casey even sees three faculty members outside of his house waiting, considering he knows.
Another incident occurs when the six students meet in the same room and an odd encounter with Mr. Furlong happens. Now, these six students will have to kill the master of this alien race before it is too late. Stokely is a sci-fi freak and gives many tips about what to do and what is going to happen. The students conclude that they can be dried out by Zeke's drugs. All six must take some of the drugs to prove they aren't one of them. As you guessed it, one or maybe even two or three of the kids are aliens. They do escape though and aren't seen until later on.
The remaining kids are determined to find the leader of the aliens. They go to the football game suspecting that the leader is Coach Willis. The football team is obviously turned because they are continuously attacking the opposing team. It's a good thing that Stan quit the team before this encounter. Or was it too late? When the students find the master, this is where the special effects kick in. We see a huge, gross alien that wants to turn every human being into one of them. A very suprising conclusion takes place, and that is great especially in horror movies.
As The Faculty started, it seemed like the same old stuff. The first fifteen minutes were pretty slow and that's why it didn't get the perfect four. The plot wasn't the best in the world either, but the way the actors brought the screenplay to life, it was very nicely done. The cast is what brought The Faculty to a great level. Piper Laurie, Clea DuVall, and Elijah Wood brought the most into this sci-fi/horror flick. For all of you who thought Usher Raymond, popular rap singer, was in the movie, think again. He appeared for about five minutes as a role that we didn't get to know. With such a large ensemble cast, you would think that the character development wouldn't be all that great. Think again, you could pretty much write a book about each character. Hands down to Kevin Williamson and Robert Rodriguez for bringing us the best horror flick of the year. It may not have been extremely scary, but it was certainly very nicely put together and will go down as a classic.
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