The Faculty (1998)

the faculty poster 1998 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun creature-feature

Some dated FX, tries to be overly smart

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Faculty

Studio: Los Hooligans Productions

Genre(s): Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s): December 25, 1998

MPAA Rating: R

the faculty elijah wood shawn hatosy jordana brewster clea duvall josh hartnett laura harris

We’re just a rag-tag bunch of students!

Herrington High School in Ohio has secretly entered a war.  The faculty has been overtaken by aliens which can mimic people and are slowly overtaking the students of the school.  It is up to a strange group of students including a geek named Casey Connor (Elijah Wood), the football star Stan Rosado (Shawn Hatosy), his girlfriend Delilah Profitt (Jordana Brewster), the school outcast Stokely Mitchell (Clea DuVall), flunky dealer Zeke Tyler (Josh Hartnett), and the new girl Marybeth Louise Hutchinson (Laura Harris) to find a way to stop the aliens and the evil teachers.  As the students try to determine if any of their teachers (Jon Stewart, Bebe Neuwirth, Famke Janssen, Robert Patrick, Piper Laurie, Salma Hayek, and Daniel Von Bargen) are aliens, they also have a fear that one of them could be an alien.

the faculty josh hartnett drugs

Not only are you not cool if you don’t do drugs, you might be an alien

Directed by Robert Rodriguez, The Faculty is a science-fiction teen horror film.  The movie features a script by Kevin Williams (who also wrote Scream and Dawson’s Creek).  The movie was met with mixed reviews and did fair at the box office but has developed a cult following since its release.

A friend and I went to a preview showing of The Faculty before it was released.  The movie had everything you’d expect from a horror movie and a sci-fi movie with a lot of pop culture mixed in.  It is a fun little film.

The format of the film works on a lot of levels and borrows from other entries in Kevin Williams hits.  It is a good combination between The Breakfast Club, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and The Thing.  I always felt it was kind of strange that it didn’t do as well as other movies (it is better than most of the Scream movies).  It isn’t a great work of art or anything, but it is clever and smart (plus, it is not often that people using drugs are the heroes).

the faculty coach joe robert patrick alien

I’m singin’ in the rain!

The cast is full of young up-and-comers and some great character actors.  Much of the faculty actors have been around for years and range from television to movies to comedy.  It is always weird to see Bebe Neuwirth outside of her Cheers role and Famke Janssen is still steamy as the teacher all the guys have the hots for (once she gets un-mousy).  I love Piper Laurie from her Carrie days and Twin Peaks, and it is always odd to see John Stewart show up in his pre-Daily Show roles.  The younger stars almost all went on to bigger and better things after The Faculty though some like the then “hot” Josh Hartnett seemed to fizzle with time.  Usher make appearances as one of the football players, and Louis Black, “Ain’t It Cool News” Harry Knowles, and Salma Hayek also appear as more faculty members.

the faculty alien queen pool scene

At least the alien queen has a nice smile

The effects of the aliens are a bit dated computer animation.  Fortunately, Rodriguez shoots the movie in a way that they aren’t visible very often (unfortunately, those animated fingers are pretty bad).  This builds the movie as more of a suspense-horror-sci-fi film.  It has a bit like the first Alien which kept the alien hidden for most of the movie.  Obviously the alien rampages at the end of this movie and it is fair but not great…It was better in human form.

The Faculty is a fun creature feature that holds up better than many of the films that were its contemporaries.  People dismissed it with all the teen horror movies out (Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Urban Legend, etc) but it stands up strong against many of them.  If you passed on The Faculty when it was released, you might give it a chance.  Go back to school and enjoy seeing the ins-and-outs of high school.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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