|Miramax; R; 104 minutes|
|Cast:||Jordana Brewster, Shawn Hatosky, Clea DuVall, Laura Harris, Josh Hartnett, Elijah Wood, Salma Hayek, Bebe Neuwirth and Robert Patrick|
It is an interesting concept to make a sci-fi thriller about encroaching alien domination from the standpoint that — cinematically and creatively at least — the world has already ended. There is really nothing to be afraid of after the apocalypse, no more than there is a need to expend creative energy; correspondingly, this film is neither scary nor new. The moribund pop-culture consciousness exhibited (the kids discuss E.T. and Men In Black) hastens the sensation that the world has ended and the survivors are left to retread cultural detritus.
The Faculty is basically the bastard offspring of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Scream, eschewing the metaphoric possibilities of the former in exchange for the virile vapidity of the latter. Writer Kevin Williamson (of the Scream series) is the likely culprit. Thankfully, director Robert Rodriguez has assembled a cohesive cast to combat the substandard material he's working with. And what, exactly, is that? A small alien parasite begins invading human hosts, starting with the teachers of an Ohio high school. It makes them bold and sexy. A half-dozen cute teenagers (embodying a half-dozen cute teenage stereotypes) sound out a disturbance in the status quo (dead alien in football field, dead teach in the closet) and uncover an alien gambit for an Earth invasion. These kids can act, and their teachers make for some lively characters as well. But the thespian talent is secondary to bloody conflict, pop culture jokes, tawdry sexuality, drug-abuse, and the revelation that, yes, kids, your weird and annoying teachers are aliens.