The Faculty Movie Review

Finally. We always knew Robert Rodriguez had talent as a filmmaker. We were just waiting for someone to put a good script in his hands, and Kevin Williamson has done that here. Do not be fooled by the woefully bad trailers, or by the fact that critics have roundly panned this horror film. The Faculty is easily the best of the genre to come along since Williamson's breakout hit, Scream. It is also the first watchable film Rodriguez has put up since storming onto the scene with El Mariachi.

Easily the biggest problem with this movie is in the marketing. I can only imagine how pissed off Williamson, Rodriguez, and everyone else involved in the movie must have been to see the film marketed as just another schlocky entry into the horror genre, which generally takes the words aliens; teenagers; battle; suspicious; killer; small town; etc. and jumble them up to come up with a concept (to wit, this time: suspicious small town teenagers battle killer aliens). Now if you are already a big 80s horror fan, just skip this review, because you already saw the movie, but this review is for people who are highly suspicious of shelling out eight bucks to see a horror flick. The only reason I actually saw The Faculty was because my little sister begged me to. But now I'm trying to convince you to.

Actually, The Faculty is just as witty as Scream, slightly less original, but makes up with it by acknowledging its status as essentially an update of Donald Siegel's 1956 classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers, one of the most frightening movies ever made, before Hollywood began trying to make you jump in your seat rather than truly fear the end of the world. Granted, with Robert Rodriguez and his frenetic camera involved, this update heightens the sense of urgency and makes you hop up a time or two. But, unlike his substance-lite stylizations in Desperado and From Dusk Till Dawn, Rodriguez manages to hold onto the wit and character of Williamson's script and fashion a film that not only gets your heart racing, but also manages enough intelligence to force you to suspend your disbelief.

To top it all off, The Faculty throws in some good Breakfast Club social commentary about high school social heirarchy, and examines the lasting effects of a surreal experience on such an ingrained social order. Granted, The Faculty's not Schindler's List, but if you ive it a chance it will make you think a little bit. Which is a good thing.

Vamp time.


The Faculty Rating

" Good "

Rating: R, 1999


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