Synopsis: The Faculty follows a group of high school students as they discover that their school is being taken over by a parasitic alien that aims to take over the world. The students of Harrington high will do whatever they can to avoid being infected and put an end to this parasite once and for all.
The film I want to talk about this week is called The Faculty. The Faculty came out in 1998 and was directed by Robert Rodriguez. Rodriguez is known to be a part of that cult film, b-movie world and this film fits right in with most of his other work. This movie is not super popular but it does have somewhat of its own almost cultish following and it is easy to see why. It is a film that most sci-fi fanatics will tell you is a classic. Personally, I am not a huge sci-fi fan, but more of a casual sci-fi watcher; however, this film truly does have something for everyone. Simply put, it is a super enjoyable watch. There is never a dull moment in The Faculty. Despite having its slightly cheesy, or as I tend to think of them, B-movie moments, the film in my opinion is very good. I think that the cheesy, kind of unrealistic moments (mostly when having to do with blood or gore) are what make the movie so entertaining. For example, a huge part of the plot revolves around the little creatures that infect each person. They look super fake, almost to the point where it’s stupid, but that is what makes it for me. It is about watching the film and having a good time. It never takes itself too seriously which is somewhat refreshing to me. Also that, as I have been referring to it, B-movie aspect of the film brings out feelings of nostalgia. It’s reminiscent of a time where special effects weren’t so realistic. Now, I’m not sure if that makes sense to others, but to me it is a big draw to the film. It is exciting to watch these over the top, cheesy moments unravel in front of me.
One of the best parts of the film lies in it’s characters. To me, characters are everything. I mean without strong characters leading a film, it doesn’t matter how good the story is. In The Faculty each of the main protagonists follow a highly stereotypical high school archetype, teachers and students alike. For starters Coach Willis (Robert Patrick) is the aggressive and overly “masculine” football coach and Miss Burke (Famke Janssen) is the sweet, timid english teacher. Both of which are very predictable. Not to mention the students who are the main protagonists of the film. First there is Casey, played by Elijah Wood. He is the “nerd” who gets bullied and beaten up by the popular kids. Zeke, played by Josh Hartnett is the cool burn-out kid who drives a tough car and is not to be messed with. Delilah, played by Jordana Brewster is the popular, mean girl who thinks she is better than everyone else. Stan (Shawn Hatosy) is Delilah’s boyfriend and, you called it, the quarterback. Stokely, played by Clea DuVall is the “goth” girl who no one talks to; and lastly, Marybeth (Laura Harris) is the sweet, innocent new girl from down south. Seeing as, all the characters are so different from one another they must move past their differences in order to defeat their common enemy. I love the way each character works in comparison to each other. Although the characters all fall into the cliche high school hierarchy, I feel that it really works in this film. Because the film is already full of it’s cheesy and unrealistic moments, I think these stereotypical characters work perfectly to add to that unrealistic factor of the film. It just pushes that further. The film goes all in terms of the “average” high school experience (you know, minus the human infecting parasite plaguing the school).
I highly recommend this film to anyone who may love science fiction movies. As well, as others who may not be particularly into sci-fi. I guarantee that there will be something about this film that you will enjoy. It is nostalgic and really fun to watch, even if you just want to watch it with your friends and laugh at the cheesy bits.