Title: The Faculty (1998)
Runtime: 104 minutes
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Kevin Williamson has got to be the greatest horror scriptwriter of the 1990s, with hits like the Scream series, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and The Faculty to his name. His scripts share a common theme: they’re smart, funny, and current to their times, which makes them memorable and fun to watch.
I’m shocked to see that IMDB doesn’t list The Faculty as a version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Just because it doesn’t have the words “invasion” or “body snatchers” doesn’t make the fact that it’s a remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers any less true. It’s like the Scream‘s generation (which is definitely my generation) of Body Snatchers, and it’s a blast.
Much like Body Snatchers, The Faculty is about a group of people who fear that another group may be aliens from another planet, set out to destroy them. In this case, though, the first group is made up of high school teenagers, and the people they believe to be out to get them is their teachers. One can imagine, even without seeing the movie, how difficult it might be for these student’s to get anyone to believe them. Even with the skepticism, though, the students are forced to take care of these aliens before they take “care” of the whole planet.
The casting in The Faculty has to be my favorite aspect. Every time a new cast member was introduced, I was yelling “really, THEY’RE in this?!” at my TV screen because the majority of these actors all went on to long careers in film and television. The incredible cast includes comedic gem Jon Stewart, musician Usher, superstar Elijah Wood, heartthrob Josh Hartnett, the beautiful Salma Hayek and Jordana Brewster, and Carrie’s psycho mom, Piper Laurie. There is a recognizable face around every corner, and they all manage some quality performances.
Thanks to Williamson’s script, The Faculty is a film that begs to be watched over and over again. It’s ’90s sci-fi/horror done the way it should be, and still holds up surprisingly well today.
Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn’t until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.