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The Faculty (1998)
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Review Date: December 26, 1998
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Writer: Kevin Williamson
Producers: Robert Rodriguez, Elizabeth Avellan, Bill Scott
Actors:
Elijah Wood
Josh Hartnett
Clea DuVall
Plot:
Six unique students with their respective identities all agree on one thing: they believe their teachers to be possessed by aliens. As the story unfolds, we find that their far-fetched theory is not that far off.
Critique:
Passable horror flic manages to steal from literally every horror and science-fiction movie from the past (while acknowledging most with a wink of the eye), while moving at a slower pace than I would've anticipated from a Rodriguez film, featuring some solid performances from all of its stars, and a scattered set of special effects that were anything but out of this world. This movie was never boring, but never really did manage to blow me away from my seat either. The multitude and breadth of its cast was elaborate and fun to watch, featuring Usher the R&B artist, Bebe Neuwirth from TV's "Cheers", Josh Hartnett from this year's other scary movie HALLOWEEN: H20 (7/10) and even Summer Phoenix, sister of Joaquin Phoenix, and the late River Phoenix. Add to that, the fact that the script also wasn't anything fantastic, and neither was the directorial style from the eye of Robert Rodriguez, and you've got yourself a semi-interesting peek into a genre that could easily be improved upon in the future.

There were a couple of scenes that were cool to see, and some slick lines, but all in all this film drove along the standard teen horror terrain without a kink in the road, with many science-fiction elements tossed in for effect. The length of the film might not have been such an issue with me, were it not for the fact that the students seemed to go on discussing their issues ad infinitum, explaining the film as it went along. I would suggest this film to all those that have enjoyed the rest of the recent crop of horror junkfilms that have passed through their mutliplexes of late, but ask that you not expect too much in regards to originality or style. For the rest of you, well, just go out and rent the original SCREAM (8/10) for a real good script by Williamson, or see John Carpenter's classic sci-fi movie, THE THING (8/10). All in all, a believable tale of sci-fi horror with an unnecessary cast of names who play their roles quite well, which ultimately didn't astound me due to its deja-vu factor, and which surely could've used some Christmas "trimming" of its own.
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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