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on August 4, 2000
Most people would think that the above combination would fail, but not at the hand of Kevin Williamson, writer of this wonderful science-fiction film brought to life by talented actors and from the director of "From Dusk Till Dawn." Opening with an intense scene in which the school principal is attacked and overtaken by two alien staff, the film only gets better, introducing us to the seperate lives of each of the students who will come together to stop the faculty, as well as the student body, from taking over the entire town. As more people become converted, the small band of "refugees" begin to discover their own clues, ultimately deducing that the queen alien must be eliminated if they are to save the town. Some might think the plot and material to be juvenile, yet it has a certain intelligence and thinking factor behind its young and fresh cast. Also, the film blends with its story many of the elements used in movies of the same genre from the fifties and sixties, which makes it even better for some reason. Let's just be blunt: everything in this movie works.
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on June 21, 1999
I first saw "The Faculty" on a plane ride to London and was immediately hooked. I ended up watching it three times just on the plane ride. I thought each of the cast members gave an outstanding performance, and had a great chemistry. I saw some actors that I was already a fan of (Jon Stewart, Josh Hartnett, Elijah Wood, Usher Raymond), and found plenty of new favorites (Shawn Hatosy, Clea DuVall, especially, as well as Jordana Brewster, Laura Harris, and the entire cast). I loved the unraveling of the plot, and how it wasn't based on science fiction only, it also dealt with the average confused teenager. The friendships and relationships that develop between the characters add so much to the plot, making it more than just a horror movie. The concept of the aliens and how the kids were able to use thier talents and areas of knowledge figure out exactly who and what the aliens were was clever, and the script couldn't have been better. The movie made me laugh, scream, and even cry. It kept me on the edge of my seat. I strongly recommend this movie, and if I could give it six stars I would. The best movie I've ever seen.
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During a time when the cinematic bowels of horror ruptured and teen movies seemed to flood the market and become a dime a dozen, I opted to skip this film because of some very bad experiences that still didn't set very well with me. Like many of the people I knew, there were lingering doubts plaguing me as to whether a mainstreamed cast of this nature could actually approach the terrible in a convincing way and if a theme that echoed "aliens kidnapped my baby while at high school" could actually find a way to be new and diverse. After a time, however, I opted to buy it on an impulse, liking something I had seen about the making of the beast that all the trouble stems from in this tale. After countless rewatches, I have to say that this isn't what I first stereotyped it to be and, although it isn't original, is very appealing.
We begin in the confines of our little Ohio-based school system, introduced to the living representations of all our modern stereotypes of what students can be. From there we see the basic interactions and the bullying - the drug-use and subsequent salesmanship, and the athletics - as our gaze is focused through one "geek" (Elijah Woods). Thinking his life is difficult enough already, he finds himself shocked when, looking around on the football field, he discovers the dehydrated remains of what appears to be a new species. Odder still, is its ability to come to life when introduced to water. This leads down even more bizarre pathways for him, and he finds himself and this band of miscreants we spent time watching early becoming stars when thrust into the gears of what seems to be an alien invasion.
While the script was nothing new, the actors more made up for this by providing seamless performances that were sometimes dry and sometimes surprisingly funny. On top of this, the effects on this were, in a word, delightful, giving the watcher something to keep an eye out for. From the beast with rows of teeth that would make any dentist smile and sing songs of happiness to the aquarium-based lifeforms, the DVD version of this had a quality that was simply superb. Add all of this together and you get one thing; a movie that is enjoyably delectable.
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on April 13, 2011
This review is specifically about the technical aspects of the DVD, not the movie itself.

This DVD (ASIN B004P7CN7W, UPC 0-96009-75089-3) is the 2011 Echo Bridge Home Entertainment release of The Faculty, and it differs quite a bit from the 1999 Dimension release of the movie (ASIN 6305428220, UPC 7-17951-0022-8-0).

Video:
Echo Bridge = Anamorphic 16:9 widescreen, so it will take up the entire screen of your widescreen TV.
Dimension = Letterboxed widescreen in 4:3 format, so your widescreen TV will show a small picture with big black bars on all four sides.
Both releases are Region 1 NTSC (even though the Echo Bridge release does not specify this on the back sleeve).

Audio:
Echo Bridge = The movie is Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kbps). The menu has music in Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kbps).
Dimension = The movie is Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kbps). The menu does not have sound.
Both releases have one audio track only (English).

Subtitles and closed captioning:
Echo Bridge = No subtitles. No closed captioning.
Dimension = English subtitles available and closed captioning available.

Bonus features:
Echo Bridge = No bonus features.
Dimension = "Bonus features" are the theatrical trailer and film recommendations.

Other thoughts:
The chapter stops are in different places.

No, I did not make a mistake listing the audio details. This Echo Bridge release really does have Dolby Digital 5.1 in the menu, but only Dolby Digital 2.0 in the movie.

The only reason I gave this Echo Bridge release two stars instead of one is because it's anamorphic widescreen, so it takes up the full TV screen without having to zoom.

I can't understand why Echo Bridge would decide to release this with only 2-channel audio, no subtitles, and no closed captioning. For those reasons, I would recommend that people get the original (Dimension) release instead of this Echo Bridge release. However, if you only care about the video, and don't care about the audio or lack of subtitles, then you'll probably be happy with this Echo Bridge release.
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on August 28, 2014
This Robert Rodriquez production of what can rightfully be called a modern Sci-fi classic revolving around the theme of aliens taking over the human body and inhabiting the body as host in a diabolical attempt to gain control over human civilization constitutes a homage to Invasion of the Body Snatchers and proves to be a better exposition of the theme which is entertaining, fun and sexy.

The movie revolves around a group of students, one of whom discovers the remnants of an extra biological entity that comes to life upon being placed in a fish tank, coming to the realization that aliens had gained control of their high school teachers and their attempts to uncover the queen alien in a concerted effort to search for an effective method to annihilate the queen so as to vanquish all alien parasites inhabiting their human hosts and to restore life back to normalcy; and introduces two attractive actresses, one assuming the role of heroine (namely, Jordana Brewster) - who will take you breath away, and the other the role of villain/alien (namely, Laura Harris) -who will knock the breath out of you.

The movie is well scripted, performances commendable, the special effects excellent and the action sequences exciting and fun.

Highly recommended.
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on May 6, 2014
With so many terrible horror movies out there, The Faculty surely seems to be a cut above the usual garbage. It's a good little chiller with a better than average cast some who went on to much bigger things. Alien take over at a high school soon turns into a teenage Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but it's quick pace, solid cast and creepy atmosphere keep this film from falling into the usual paint by numbers sic-fi flick. Sure there is some predictable situations, but it is done with some finesse and style.

The Blu Ray is a little inconsistent, looking crystal clear most of the time, but with occasional blurriness here and there. It certainly looks the best I've ever seen the film and the price is right, so if this movie is your thing the Blu Ray seems to be the best release so far.
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on September 28, 2013
This movie came out along with a very similar movie by the title Disturbing Behavior. This was the far better movie, both commercially and critically. The Faculty is highly derivative of the 50's "Red Scare" movies, particularly Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It also borrows very heavily--particularly in creature effects--from John Carpenter's The Thing. Nevertheless, it does so more so as an homage, and it in no way feels cheap or a rip off. From this standpoint it does rip off Wes Craven's Scream, with characters directly referencing horror movies as a way to understand the problems they are facing in their own movie. Nonetheless, the movie is great fun and a pretty good horror movie.

The Blu-ray treatment is quite good. My main complaint is that there is definitely some digital enhancement going on here, particularly with edge enhancement. It never completely oversteps its bounds, but it is definitely there. Otherwise the picture looks very strong on all fronts. The audio has the original theatrical Dolby and DTS tracks, as well as a stereo downmix for headphone wearers. The extras are mostly fluff. All in all, fans of the movie will really enjoy this Blu-ray. It is a very solid disc.
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on January 10, 2007
When "The Faculty" arrived at theaters in late 1998, the world had already seen it's share of over-hyped, over-dramatic and sarcastic teen horror from the mind of Kevin Williamson. Not only did we already have a "Scream," but there was a "Scream 2," as well as a corny "I Know What You Did Last Summer," followed by a corny sequel with an even cornier title. To add insult to injury, he tainted what could have been an amazing comeback movie, "Halloween H20" with his own embarassing self-referential "touch-ups" on the script. Most horror fans, including me, placed blame on Williamson for watering down the horror genre, and forcing us to suffer through a five year period of bland horror that was finally put to rest with the flop, "Valentine." However, working in Williamson's favor are two things. First, you can't blame him for "Disturbing Behavior" or "Urban Legend," as he had nothing to do with them, and second, he did deliver this little underrated gem. Together with director Robert Rodriguez, "The Faculty" was brought to the screen in a style that set it aside from it's peers and with a story that, despite lacking in the originality department, didn't feel quite as stale.

Six teenage stereotypes -- a jock, a brain, a pretty girl, a frumpy girl, a burnout, and a naive new kid -- band together when they discover that their school, and eventually their town, are being infested with an alien life-form. The teachers are more cruel and strict than before, and their parents and the police force aren't of much help either. Taking a cue from "Invasion Of The Body Snatchers," the parasites in this movie use their human counterparts as a host, taking away what made them human and using their bodies to feed their needs. It's not too long into the film that the kids wise up to this fact. When Josh Hartnett, laying it on a little to thick as the burnout character, stabs his science teacher (played by John Stewart) in the eyeball with a homemade cocaine inside a pen, a plan to hunt down the Queen, which will theoretically save everyone (aside from the few they already wasted) is devised. The movie turns into a whodunnit of sorts, but without resorting to "Scream"-esque cliches. Rest assured, there are no long-winded explanations as to what their motivations are and how they pulled it off.

One of the biggest flaws in this film would be the last fifteen or so minutes, which really degrades itself to some sort of b-movie monster flick. Needless to say, when the Queen reveals herself, it's a bit embarassing to watch. However, the movie on the whole is thoroughly entertaining. Even when it reaches into moments of cheese, it is still fun, thanks mostly to Rodriguez's expertise. One has to wonder how this guy got stuck directing a teen-horror flick in the first place. A fresh faced Elijah Wood, Jordana Brewster and Clea DuVall are fun to watch in the film, but it is really the Faculty themselves who take center stage. Rodriguez alumni Robert Patrick and Selma Hayek, along with Jon Stewart and Famke Janssen, threaten to steal the show. Their portrayals of overworked, underpaid and underappreciated teachers are spot-on and couldn't be closer to reality. I swear, I've had these people as teachers growing up.

Overall, "The Faculty" is an entertaining little sci-fi/horror that you'll probably want to watch more than once. Sure, it's become a bit dated eight years later, but of all the movies of it's kind popping up at the time, I'd have to say this is the best. The DVD is horribly disappointing, however, with no special features really to speak of. Hopefully one day they'll put out a special edition, with some commentary and some insight into the making of the film.
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"The Faculty" is one of those movies where you want to reduce it to simple cinematic equation history, such as "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" meets "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." But that is really too simplistic an approach. Not since "The Rock" have I seen a film that references as many other films as "The Faculty" (comedy homages in the tradition of "Airplane" do not count). When you watch this film see how many times you suddenly say to yourself, "Oh, yeah, just like in 'The Thing.'" Clearly, screenwriter Kevin Williamson ("Scream") is back to his old tricks, this time in the field of science fiction rather than teenage splatter flicks, aided and abetted by director Robert Rodriuez ("From Dusk Till Dawn").

The premise of the film is that the old school kid fantasy about teachers being alien monsters comes true at Herrington High in Ohio. The faculty are only first on the alien agenda for possession. Next are the police, the students, their parents, the folks in town, the visiting football team, and, by the end of the month, the entire world. All that stand in the way are the fellowship of the high school student stereotypes: there is Casey Connor (Elijah Wood), the Stephen King nerd; Delilah Profitt (Jordana Brewster), the campus queen; Stokely Mitchell (Clea DuVall), the goth girl with the encyclopedic knowledge of science fiction films whom everyone thinks is a lesbian; Stan Rosado (Shawn Hatosy), the sensitive jock who wants to be more than a quarterback; Marybeth Louise Hutchinson (Laura Harris), the new girl in school; and Zeke Wells (Josh Hartnett), the big man on campus when it comes to drugs.

Actually, "The Faculty" ends ups being one of the most subversive films in history because the big lesson here is that mind altering drugs can save the world (that just cannot be right, people). But it is hard to focus on a "message" in a film like this where the only real question is how are these kids going to save the world and which on the infected people is hosting the queen? That last one is where Williamson proves he was paying attention to story construction because there are plenty of clues that set up the big payoff, which is usually a sign of competency when considering a film like this. Otherwise the big joke in the film is that the adults are having a lot more fun being monsters than the kids are trying to save the earth. Robert Patrick plays Coach Willis with maniacal glee while Piper Laurie goes for underplayed creepiness. Famke Janssen goes from mouse to lioness, Bebe Neuwirth gets to work on her chilling smile, and even Jon Stewart has his eye-popping moment. Only Salma Hayek is really wasted, given nothing more to do than blow her nose.

The end result is a decent science fiction horror film, which is a pretty good deal. We are clearly in a world where a competent film in this genre qualifies as an above average effort. But "The Faculty" embraces both the history of the genre and the stereotypical characters running around in it trying to save the world. The idea of an unpretentious exploitation film just sounds strange. For me, the two scenes that capture the essence of this film are the suspenseful sequence where the gang tries to figure out who amongst them cannot be trusted and the bit where the new and improved football team gleefully beats up on their out of town opponents at the big game on Friday night. "The Faculty" plays well in both ballparks. The only serious complaint is that this film was apparently so well crafted by Williamson and Rodriguez that there are no deleted scenes; all this DVD offers in the way of extras is the trailer. That is a downer.

Bonus Question: Since this film is scripted by Kevin Williamson can it be read as an allegorical twist on "Dawson's Creek"? Sure, why not? It just gets a bit complicated, because if Casey is Dawson and Zeke is Pacey, then Stan has to be Jack (the football part, but not the gay part, unless you want to go back to the very beginning in which case he can be Cliff). That means Delilah is Joey (but with Abby's attitude), but then we have to decide if Marybeth the new girl in town or Stokely the girl with a bad reputation is Jen. Since that can work out either way your decision can be based on whether you are trying to work this out in terms of the high school years on "Dawson's Creek" with Andie or the college years with Audrey.
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on April 13, 2011
This review is specifically about the technical aspects of the DVD, not the movie itself.

This DVD (ASIN 6305428220, UPC 7-17951-0022-8-0) is the 1999 Dimension release of The Faculty, and it differs quite a bit from the 2011 Echo Bridge Home Entertainment release of the movie (ASIN B004P7CN7W, UPC 0-96009-75089-3).

Video:
Dimension = Letterboxed widescreen in 4:3 format, so your widescreen TV will show a small picture with big black bars on all four sides.
Echo Bridge = Anamorphic 16:9 widescreen, so it will take up the entire screen of your widescreen TV.
Both releases are Region 1 NTSC (even though the Echo Bridge release does not specify this on the back sleeve).

Audio:
Dimension = The movie is Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kbps). The menu does not have sound.
Echo Bridge = The movie is Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kbps). The menu has music in Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kbps).
Both releases have one audio track only (English).

Subtitles and closed captioning:
Dimension = English subtitles available and closed captioning available.
Echo Bridge = No subtitles. No closed captioning.

Bonus features:
Dimension = "Bonus features" are the theatrical trailer and film recommendations.
Echo Bridge = No bonus features.

Other thoughts:
The chapter stops are in different places.

No, I did not make a mistake listing the audio details for the Echo Bridge release; it really does have Dolby Digital 5.1 in the menu, but only Dolby Digital 2.0 in the movie.

The only bad part about this Dimension release (and the only reason to consider the Echo Bridge release) is that the video is letterboxed, so a widescreen TV will show the picture with black bars on all four sides.

If you care about the audio and/or you want subtitles, then get this Dimension release. If you want to use the full screen of your widescreen TV, and you don't care about the audio or lack of subtitles, then you'll probably be happier with the Echo Bridge release.
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