The Faculty (1998) | Movie Review
The Faculty is a 1998 American science fiction horror film. The film is rated R and it is an hour and 44 minutes.
The film is directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by Kevin Williamson. It 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.
Let’s check the review of The Faculty (1998) movie and check if it’s worth a watch on Hallween.
The Faculty (1998) Review
Tonight, we’re talking about The Faculty. The film is directed by Robert Rodriguez, who’s really one of the most versatile filmmakers ever. If you look at his filmography, his movies are all incredibly different.
Desperado (1995) is nothing like the faculty. The faculty is nothing like Spy Kids (2021), and none of those are like Alita: Battle Angel (2019).
The Faculty movie is about a group of high schoolers who begin to suspect that an alien invasion is taking place and that their school is ground zero. I had this movie recorded off of TV onto a VHS when I was younger.
That’s how I rewatched it a lot, and we’re going to talk about some really funny edits that the film had later.
But I got to watch the movie quite a bit because of that always fast-forwarding through the commercials. And this movie was really fun for me as a kid because, in the 90s, Aliens were huge. The X Files was gigantic.
And Kevin Williamson, who had just come off the back-to-back successes of Scream and I Know What You Did last summer, also wrote this movie, which has a joke about the two lead actresses of those films.
He found a stride for himself in the 90s and really went for it. This film also has some meta references to other films like Invasion of the Body Snatchers or even The X Files.
And just one scene where two characters are talking about the history of alien invasion in film and television and how it could potentially have some kind of repercussion for what they’re going through today.
But for the most part, The Faculty movie doesn’t really feel like other Kevin Williamson movies of the nineties and early 2000s.
There was something about this film and the craft that really felt like the 90s to me, it really seemed like the decade was just kind of dripping from every frame.
I love Josh Hartnett in this movie. In fact, in general, I really like him as an actor. I think he’s really good in the film 30 Days of Night as well.
But this is definitely one of his more iconic roles for my generation. He plays a drug dealer who grinds up caffeine pills and a few other ingredients and puts them inside pens to sell to kids at school.
Clea DuVall plays Stokely, someone, who’s socially outcast from her peers and often bullied as well. Jordana Brewster plays one of the biggest bullies in the film and is in fact homophobic and constantly bullies Stokely because she believes she’s a lesbian.
In a hilarious role that he’s obviously having a great time with Robert Patrick plays the coach of the football team, one of the first people to be taken over by the aliens.
Jon Stewart is also in the film as a science teacher as well as Usher what a fucking cast 1998 man, what the hell is going on? John Stewart’s in this movie. And his character name is Prof. Edward Furlong by the way.
I put this movie to the test recently. A friend of mine hates teen horror, and when I say that I don’t mean like, PG 13 horror films, I mean films where the characters are usually high school or college age. They’re all kind of stupid and dumb, and they just want to have sex and get high and get drunk the whole movie.
I’m not a big fan of those characters either, but I understand that some of those films have worth and he kind of just lumps them all into one category and says, Fuck that, I don’t want to watch any of them.
So I told him to watch the faculty with me, and reluctantly, he did. Because this is one of the few high school horror movies of the era where the characters are actually fairly smart. Everyone has real-world problems.
There’s a character who is known for being the star quarterback. His girlfriend is a really popular girl in school, and he seems to have a fast track to a college scholarship through football. But his grades are terrible.
And he’s going through a bit of a crisis of identity because one of his teachers changed a D grade to an A because he did really well in a football game, and the town really cares about football.
And when he got that A that he didn’t earn, he suddenly felt like, I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing. I should focus more on my studies.
That’s not an obnoxious, ignorant teenage character. That’s a real, fleshed-out human being.
Clea DuVall’s character, Stokely, who is my favorite in the entire film, probably because I just related to her a lot. As a kid, I felt like an outcast a lot of people picked on me. I didn’t feel like I belonged.
But she’s also just really fucking cool. Like, for the whole movie, Jordana Brewster’s character just hounds on her and calls her all kinds of really offensive names.
And once the alien invasion gets going and it seems like Jordana Brewster might be one of them, Stokely does not hesitate to try to kill her.
I’ve always loved that moment because you get a half movie’s worth of bullying, and then she’s like, I don’t give a shit about this girl. I’ll fucking kill her if you want me to. I just find that so badass.
Josh Hartnett’s character Zeke, as I said, drug dealer, but a lot under the surface. His parents are never around. He doesn’t know where they are. He has a lab in the basement where he makes drugs.
He’s held back a year, even though he’s incredibly smart, he’s way smarter than he lets on. And for whatever reason, he’s just kind of allowing himself to drift the way he does.
These are not stupid, poorly written characters. They’re actually really well-written characters in some way more fleshed out than even more serious horror films. And so my friend really ended up liking the movie.
To me, The Faculty is one of those few movies that often gets lumped into other movies that are similar to it, but they don’t really feel the same.
But it’s also incredibly well-paced, very fast-moving and really suspenseful. It’s not a particularly scary movie, but it’s not really meant to be.
It’s kind of like the 1990s version of Puppet Masters or Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and the film has its tongue firmly planted in his cheek and many scenes, and it understands exactly what kind of movie it is. Like when Famke Janssen’s head gets ripped off and tentacles start to bring it back to the body.
There’s also a really clever idea in the film and that they realize that Zeke’s drug is a weapon they can use against the aliens. The aliens are obsessed with water. They want to be constantly hydrated, and this drug dries them out and kills them.
So they all have to take the drug and get high to see which one of them is the alien. And that’s really smart because not only is it tense, it’s kind of funny because they start freaking out and they start seeing things. And that’s just a great idea.
Now, as I said, as a kid, I quite often watch the edited version of this movie, and there’s always one moment that has stayed in my mind. If you watched a lot of films that were edited or things were removed as a kid.
And then later, as you got older, you saw the Uncut versions of them. You maybe like me, have certain edits that just kind of stayed with you. And that’s just how you hear it now.
One of them being a scene where Josh Hartness’s character screams “fuck”. Except the version that I saw went like this “Fooey”. How did I ever watch that and not laugh my ass off.
And some spoilers here If you’ve never seen The Faculty just as a warning, I’m going to talk a little bit about the ending.
I really love the practical creature they have on set. This thing is fucking cool. I really wish more movies built more practical monsters like this.
Obviously, there are some shots that are CG, but the ones that are the real deal still look great, and they’re never not going to look great.
The one thing about The Faculty movie that bugs me is that Jordana Brewster’s character who, as I said, is a homophobic bully throughout the entire film gets a bit of a happy ending, and I understand that it was 1998.
But I feel like watching it now. It just doesn’t hit. There’s no smiles on the last shot where she’s happy because she’s such a terrible person. And I was kind of like, Why does she get a happy ending? They could have just kept her dead. That would have been fine.
But I will always have a soft spot for this movie. I think it’s extremely fun. The characters are very well-rounded. It goes above and beyond for what was asked of most teen horror films at the time.
And like Scream. And I know what you did last summer is rated R, and it earns and deserves the rated R rating. And John Stewart plays a guy named Edward Furlong. So watch it for that. I guess if you want to check it out this Halloween great time.
So I am going to give The Faculty (1998) film a C-Plus.
Guys thank you so much as always for reading the review of The Faculty (1998) movie. See you next time.
The Faculty (1998) Trailer
Check out the trailer of the Horror Mystery Sci-Fi movie The Faculty (1998).
When Casey Connor, Herrington High School’s newspaper photographer, witnesses the murder of a nurse and sees her alive again, he decides to investigate the bizarre happenings.