The Faculty

"When we grew up and went to school there were certain teachers who would hurt the children any way they could."

The Faculty continues to ride on the crest of the 90s self-referential slasher-flick wave, combining a tight minimalist plot, fairly decent acting, and a few nods to the past (including a revamped version of Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall, showcasing the song's timelessness). Perhaps what is most "horrifying" about the film is that it depicts the life of a dysfunctional student body in the U.S. with disturbing starkness.

"By pouring their derision, upon anything we did, exposing every weakness however carefully hidden by the kids."

A parasitic creature from another world picks a school in Ohio (Herrington High) to spread its message of "brotherly love". The problem is with the methods it employs: the creature enters the host through the ear and drains the victim of all the water content. Before long, most of the faculty and the students have had their bodies snatched and it's up to an incongruous group of six non-infected students to save the planet: Zeke (Josh Hartnett), the repeating senior who acts dumb but still manages to impress Marybeth (Laura Harris), a shy newcomer with a Southern accent who tries to befriend Stokely (Clea DuVall), mischaracterised as a lesbian by Delilah (Jordana Brewster), an attractive cheerleader dating the star of the football team Stan (Shawn Hatosy) and tormenting the school geek Casey (Elijah Wood).

"But in the town it was well-known when they got home at night their fat and psychopathic wives would thrash them within inches of their lives."

Those lyrics from Pink Floyd's The Happiest Days of our Lives (also The Wall album) are a nice segue to the movie's plot. As the six students go about destroying their parasite-infected teachers with metamphetamines (it's a dehydrating agent), there is some suspense built up as to who the "queen parasite" is (because as you know from previous body snatcher movies, killing the queen parasite will solve all problems). By the time they get to "hey teacher, leave them kids alone!" the rest of the movie is completely predictable.

The cast of mostly new faces (to me at least) do a decent job. The suspense level is fairly high. The combination of Robert Rodriguez (director) and Kevin Williamson (screenwriter) has potential, but it doesn't live up to it in this film. The Faculty is a good time killer and delivers what it promises, but there's nothing new here.

Movie ramblings || Ram Samudrala ||