Science Fiction / Horror
Distributed by: Dimension Films
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Let’s take a trip back to our high school days, shall we? Back in high school, who didn’t think some of their teachers were alien life forms? You know the type – the teacher who always wore the same outfits, day after day after day. Or what about the teacher with the excessive amounts of make-up, sheaths for dresses, and a penchant for adding drama to everything she did? Every one around us belonged to some sort of clique…whether they wanted to or not. There were the geeks, the jocks, the popular ones, the juvenile delinquents, the just plain weird ones…you name it, there was a clique for it.
The movie, The Faculty, addresses all of these issues in one amusing horror flick. For the students at Herrington High, life was normal. The Herrington High football team was the focus of everyone’s attention. The biggest news story to be found there was that one of the teachers was an alcoholic. Until one day, the members of the Herrington High faculty start to act a bit off. The football coach, normally a hard-case with a bad attitude, becomes a kind and caring person overnight. The drama teacher, a normally frazzled mouse of a woman, becomes a headstrong, dramatically dressed woman. The English teacher, always so shy and frumpy, is now a sexy, bold temptress. The alcoholic history teacher who cares nothing about the students is suddenly lucid and raring to teach. And the changes don’t end with the faculty either – even the students are starting to act bizarre.
School newspaper photographer Casey Connor (the nerd) and editor Delilah Profitt (the popular girl) witness these changes which seem to take place overnight. They decide to investigate, and what they discover turns their normal every day high school lives upside down. Aliens are taking over their high school and doing so in rapid fashion. They have to be stopped. Joining them on their crusade to fight the invasion are the sci-fi aficionado Stokes (the weird one), Delilah’s boyfriend Stan Rosado (the jock), Zeke Tyler (the juvenile delinquent), and new girl Marybeth Louise Hutchinson. On the night of one of the biggest football games the high school has ever hosted, will these select few be able to stop the invasion from spreading outside their little town?
The Faculty is a homage to every alien invasion film ever made. While most movies have a charismatic, energetic character as their hero, this movie blends an unlikely group of students into a heroic pack. Elijah Wood (Casey), Jordanna Brewster (Delilah), Clea Duvall (Stokes), Shawn Hatosy (Stan), Josh Hartnett (Zeke) and Laura Harris (Marybeth) are completely believable in their respective roles. The actors play off of each other well and there is terrific chemistry between all of them. The actors portraying the teachers – Bebe Neuwirth, Famke Janssen, Piper Laurie, Robert Patrick, Jon Stewart and Salma Hayek – are equally impressive in their roles. The soundtrack of the movie is intense and action filled with music by artists such as The Offspring, Creed, Stabbing Westward, Soul Asylum, Oasis, Sheryl Crow and more. There’s even an incredible remake of the Pink Floyd classic Another Brick in the Wall by Class of ’99 that just adds to the spook factor of the movie.
The Faculty, unlike most horror flicks is not all spook and terror. There is a great deal of humorous banter throughout the movie. The movie is an incredibly accurate rendition of high schools everywhere, where nothing is quite what it seems. The perceived Miss Perfect may have an abusive home life and The Punk may actually have an over-average IQ. That is, in fact, the whole underlying theme of the movie – that one should never take things for face value. There may be something quite interesting lying underneath the façade.
While the movie as a whole is an incredibly enjoyable action-packed joyride, the DVD is a bit lacking. The only special feature offered is the Theatrical Trailer of the movie. What happened to the deleted scenes? What happened to the documentaries? A music video featuring Another Brick in the Wall would have been nice. Anything! But alas, there is nothing truly special about the DVD release of The Faculty. If you’re looking for a fun and fast-paced movie, go out and buy The Faculty on DVD. Just don’t expect anything extra for your dollar.