The Faculty

The Faculty (1998) - IMDb

 The Faculty was a movie that I remember seeing a lot of promotion for as it was coming out. I even remember it being a big thing that they had a cover of The Wall on the soundtrack, and the accompanying music video being played on MTV. My eleven-year-old self was all in on the movie because it combined sci-fi and horror. I’ve been a fan of it since my first watch.

The Faculty was directed by Robert Rodriguez. It was written by Kevin Williamson. When it was coming out I was more aware of who Kevin Williamson was, because of Dawson’s Creek and Scream mainly. They leaned on that heavily in promoting the movie. I hadn’t gotten to see any of Robert Rodriguez’s other movies before this, even though I had tried hard to find From Dusk til Dawn at all of my local video stores at the time. It took me until after seeing The Faculty to see it. I’m a fan of both men’s work.

The Faculty stars Jordana Brewster, Clea DuVall, Laura Harris, Josh Hartnett, Shawn Hatosy, Famke Janssen, Piper Laurie, Bebe Neuwirth, Robert Patrick, Usher Raymond, Jon Stewart, and Elijah Wood. This cast is a hell of a time capsule, mostly because of the amount of up-and-coming stars that are in it. Also, this being one of Jon Stewart’s acting roles, especially one not in a comedy movie, is pretty odd now. Robert Patrick is in his element as main antagonistic force. His presence is so intimidating and sinister, almost on par with his role as the T-1000. The students all have great chemistry with each other, and it draws you in and makes you care about them. Hartnett, DuVall, and Wood all incredibly charismatic and they draw you in. They make you want them to succeed.

At Herrington High School in Ohio weird stuff is starting to happen. The teachers have started acting strangely and the students don’t seem to notice right away. Eventually a group of students begin to notice the strange actions of their teachers. It’s first noticed by Delilah and Casey, two members of the school paper’s editorial staff. They eventually get Stan, Stokely, Zeke, and Marybeth on their side as they not only begin their investigation but also their fight against what’s started happening in their school.

The effects in the movie are amazing. They were able to use the limited CG effects that they had access to at the time to maximum effect. That combined with the use of outstanding practical effects really stand the test of time. The practical effects were done by KNB EFX and they look amazing. The music was done by Marco Beltrami. His score is fantastic and helps build the tension to what’s happening on screen.

The Faculty is a fun movie and an interesting time capsule for the time. Some of it has aged poorly, but as someone who played football at the time the way the coach talked to the players is pretty spot on. They might still do that now, even with times having changed. You can watch it on Amazon Prime Video as of writing this. I give The Faculty 8 paper cutter swords out of 10.

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