The Faculty (1998) Movie Review
Written By: JEH
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Producers: Elizabeth Avellán
Writers: David Wechter, Bruce Kimmel, et. al.
Date Released: December 25, 1998
Jordana Brewster as Delilah Profitt
Clea DuVall as Stokely “Stokes” Mitchell
Laura Harris as Marybeth Louise Hutchinson
Josh Hartnett as Zeke Tyler
Shawn Hatosy as Stan Rosado
Elijah Wood as Casey Connor
Robert Patrick as Joe Willis
Usher Raymond as Gabe Santora
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Nothing special ever happens in Harrington High School, except for their well-funded football games. But when a student, Casey (Elijah Wood), witnesses the murder and inexplicable resurrection of their school nurse, his boring school days become a fight for survival. Together with Cheerleader Delilah (Jordana Brewster), football player Stan (Shawn Hatosy), drug dealer Zeke (Josh Hartnett), loner Stokes (Clea DuVall), and new girl Marybeth (Laura Harris), Casey has to figure out how to stop an alien invasion.
For a sci-fi horror, there’s not much alien gore, exploding body parts, and melting internal organs. However, when there are slightly gory scenes, the quality of the special effects is also not that impressive. Yes, the movie was released in the 90s. But there are films released before The Faculty (1998) that had better effects.
Nevertheless, don’t let the lack of gore and the underwhelming effects keep you from watching. Fortunately, the movie does not have to rely much on visual effects to stand out.
The Grave Review
Robert Rodriguez is one of the most critically-acclaimed filmmakers behind The El Mariachi trilogy, From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), Sin City (2005), Planet Terror (2007), and Alita: Battle Angel (2019). However, there’s another good Rodriguez movie that’s not as well known: The Faculty (1998).
This film is the combination of four other great movies: The Breakfast Club (1985), The Invasion of Body Snatchers (1978), Scream (1996), and The Thing (1982). However, The Faculty (1998) is self-aware and does not shy away from being branded as a rip-off. Instead, it flourishes from existing ideas and somehow makes it feel inventive.
Aside from Rodriguez’s directing and the writers’ creative take on a familiar story, the main actors also did a great job with teenage horror stereotypes. Unfortunately, the adult characters feel a little underused, considering they had great adult actors. One example is Robert Patrick, who played the iconic T-100 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). While he does have a handful of good scenes, it’s not enough to make a mark. Other notable adult actors and actresses include Salma Hayek and Jon Stewart. But these performers too were under utilized.
But overall, the movie still manages to be an entertaining film as a whole. All the elements are well-thought-out and work great together. However, don’t expect a sensational movie that’s going to blow you away. There’s a certain element that feels absent in the film. And this missing element holds back The Faculty (1998) from becoming memorable.
Should you see this movie? If you’re a fan of campy sci-fi horror with a dash of comedy, you will love The Faculty (1998). Or, if you’re just looking for something entertaining on a weekend, you can’t go wrong with this one.
Because of the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Faculty (1998) three graves out of five graves.
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