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The Faculty (1998)


Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 50
Fresh: 27
Rotten: 23

Critics Consensus: Rip-off of other sci-fi thrillers.

Average Rating: 4.7/10
Reviews Counted: 7
Fresh: 3
Rotten: 4

Critics Consensus: Rip-off of other sci-fi thrillers.


Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 185,970



Movie Info

Like so many schools today, Herrington High has passed its prime. Its walls are grimy, its textbooks outdated, its teachers burned out. Yet its corridors are packed with the future of America - loners, leaders, hipsters, nerds, brains and jocks. Like teenagers everywhere, they struggle with parents who don't get it, teachers who never had it and hormones that won't quit. But the students at Herrington High face a greater challenge - saving the world from alien domination.

R (for violence/gore, strong language, drug use and some nudity)
Science Fiction & Fantasy , Horror
Directed By:
Written By:
Kevin Williamson
In Theaters:
Jun 15, 1999


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Critic Reviews for The Faculty

All Critics (58) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (23) | DVD (17)

This smart, involving sci-fi picture, set in an Ohio high school, pays homage to several genre faves, notably Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Thing.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Since the codes of science fiction are different from horror's cant, the patented Williamson method doesn't make a perfect fit with the material; Faculty's fun, but less fun than it could be.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Village Voice
Top Critic

Just whiskers away from being really snazzy, "The Faculty" still manages to make for a fun night out.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

The Faculty succeeds as a youth-oriented shocker due to director, editor, and frequent camera-operator Robert Rodriguez's provocative eye and frantic pacing.

Full Review… | February 2, 2014

Surely isn't perfect, but it's a solid genre offering from Robert Rodriguez.

Full Review… | October 27, 2012
Cinema Crazed

A zesty, charming sci-fi horror-thriller with better performances and far better production values than you'd expect.

Full Review… | September 5, 2012
Antagony & Ecstasy

The Kevin Williamson formula (rewrite familiar horror scenarios and have the characters note the familiarity) has gotten to be a bore, and in this case it makes no sense.

Full Review… | April 17, 2009

A crappy teen horror movie, but in director Robert Rodriguez's hands it's at least agreeably crappy.

Full Review… | February 3, 2008

A moviegoer looking for an empty-headed waste of time could do worse.

Full Review… | June 18, 2002
Film Journal International

The sci-fi/horror genre could take a lesson from "The Faculty."

Full Review… | June 5, 2002
Boxoffice Magazine

Williamson's take-it-apart-and-put-it-back-together stitchmanship has become an arduous borefest.

Full Review… | March 24, 2002
Boston Phoenix

The Faculty consistently draws attention to its own ill-joined cracks and seams.

Full Review… | March 3, 2002
Sight and Sound

A decidedly average film with flashes of inspiration.

Full Review… | April 17, 2001
Film Written Magazine

If you have the feeling you've been here before, you have.

April 8, 2001
Movie Metropolis

All the students were stereotypes.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

What could have been an interesting update of Body Snatchers for the teen crowd becomes a very bland Robert A. Heinlein's The Breakfast Club.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

Rodriguez puts his money into the predictable place - special effects - and you wonder where the imagination went.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Examiner

Be ashamed, Kevin Williamson. Be very ashamed.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

The Faculty is a witty deconstruction of sci-fi movies - and a bloody good time at the movies.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Urban Cinefile

Another smart and pop-culturally hip film from Williamson.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

Will there a bigger, better blast of pure, unpretentious, popcorn entertainment this holiday season? Not bloody likely.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

Audience Reviews for The Faculty

This is pretty much a sci-fi/horror flick crossbred with The Breakfast Club, but despite the cheesiness, it's still a pretty fun twist on an old formula, namely the one laid out by stuff like The Thing, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Representatives from various cliques (jock, wuss, prep, rebel, weirdo, new kid) ban together when they stumble upon the revelation that their school is ground zero for an alien invasion. It's nothing new, but Kevin Williamson and Robert Rodriguez put a nice and slick twist to things that makes for a very entertaining watch. I think I really gravitate towards this ,especially when I was younger, because I could identify with the themes of isolation, not fitting in, etc. which is why I also became a fan of The Breakfast Club around that time as well.

The cast is star studded, featuring Elijah Wood, Clea Duvall, Josh Hartnett, Jordana Brewster, Laura Harris, and Shawn Hatosy as the primary group we follow, and Robert Patrick, Piper Laurie, Bebe Neuwirth, Salma Hayek, Jon Stewart, Famke Janssen, and even film critic Harry Knowles as some of the titular faculty. Christopher McDonald puts in an appearance as the father of Wood's character, and we also get singer Usher, Wiley Wiggins ,and Danny Masterson as some of the other students.

The effects mostly hold up, though some look rather hammy. At least there's a decent amount of violence and some gruesomeness, even if not all of it is that convincing anymore.

The film is a bit of a slow starting mystery, but once it kicks in, it's a fun ride with a decent soundtrack. Give it a go.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


Casey: If you were going to take over the world, would you blow up the White House 'Independence Day' style, or sneak in through the back door? 

"Six students are about to find out their teachers really are from a different planet."

Kevin Williamson does for the alien invasion movie with The Faculty what he had previously done for the slasher movie with Scream. The Faculty is a lot like Scream. It's set in a high school, there's a lot of references to the genre, there's a character that has the knowledge of what's going on because she's a lover of the science fiction genre, and there's the overall fun, funny, and entertaining script that Williamson brings to the table. Combine that with Robert Rodriguez's direction and you're in for an extremely fun, genre aware, teen horror show, that will be sure to keep you entertained for the duration.

I can't lie, the movie has some plot holes and it has the flaws that go along with those plot holes. So, it is by no means a perfect movie. Now, I have to say that I loved each and every second of The Faculty. It was a smart, semi-satire, sci-fi, teen horror film. Robert Rodriguez directs it like you would expect from him. It's fast paced and there's quite a bit of stuff going on. 

The Faculty is set in Herrington High School, which is somewhere in Ohio. Six students become aware of a situation in the school where faculty members seem to be being taken over by aliens. Soon it's them against everyone as the situation spreads extremely quickly. The six of them are brought together despite their differences. They all have their standard cliché. We have the geek, the jock, the cheerleader, the new girl, the drug dealer, and the goth. All of them are brought to life through cool dialogue and situations, and by competent actors.

There's not much not to love here in my opinion. I can't see someone liking Scream and being unable to like this one. There's the same quick paced, electric feeling to it. There's the same feeling of spoofing the genre, while paying homage to it. Everything is there for an all around fun look at the alien invasion movie. There's references from Alien to Independence Day to Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The filmmakers have seen all these movies just like we have, and use elements of just about every alien invasion movie you can think of. Combined with a little smart and original tones on behalf of Williamson, it works great.

Just a terrific film. Definitely worth a look for lovers of the genre and of Scream. I have trouble understanding why more people didn't fall completely in love with this movie. It's extremely underrated. Maybe it's because people expected it to be just as good as Scream or maybe it's because people just don't get it. Honestly, I don't really give a shit. I loved it.

Melvin White

Super Reviewer


This movie is such a cheeseball. It's funny to watch...and it's a good movie. But it's not gonna win any oscars. But hey.... Not all movies have to.

Martin Sahlin

Super Reviewer

A disarmingly clever, subversive sci-fi/actioner, The Faculty nonetheless is burdened a bit by being caught in Scream's overwhelming shadow. As some critics have noted, Kevin Williamson's constant dismantling of whatever genre he's operating in offers plenty of surprises at the actual textual level, but on the whole it's easy to look at one of his movies and expect lots of metahumor and self-parody. Thus, The Faculty may catch a few viewers unawares (as it did with me, since I didn't know Williamson wrote it at the time), but anyone familiar with his distinctive brand might be a little less impressed.

This doesn't do much, however, to discount the absolutely insane premise - is Hollywood legitimizing drug use as a way of seeing "the truth"? - and the fun performances, as well as some kicky scenes of sci-fi brutality. As a sort of Invasion of the Body Snatchers as envisioned amongst high school students, it's extremely perceptive, not at all the "rip off" that some critics seem to write it off as. Definitely worth revisiting.

Drew Smith

Super Reviewer

The Faculty Quotes

Marybeth Louise Hutchinson:
You know in my world Casey, there were limitless oceans as far as the eye could see. Beautiful, huh? Till it started to dry out. So I escaped, came here, and I met you, all of you, and all of you were different from the others. You were lost and lonely, just like me. And I thought that maybe I could give you a taste of my world. A world without anger, without fear, without attitude. Where the underachiever goes home at night to parents who care. The jock can be smart, the ugly duckling beautiful, and the class wuss doesn't have to live in terror. The new girl - well - the new girl she can just fit right in with anybody. People who are just like her. You see Casey, even Mary-Beth's feelings can be hurt by a bunch of pathetic, lost, little outcasts who truly believe that their disaffected lonely life is the only way they can survive. I can make you a part of something so special Casey, so perfect, so fearless. Don't you want that, Casey?
Casey Connor:
I'd rather be afraid!
Marybeth Louise Hutchinson:
Fine. Alright. Have it your way! 'Cause this is where your land of fiction gets it right: we win. End of story!
– Submitted by Daniela T (18 months ago)
Stokely 'Stokes' Mitchell:
I always thought the only alien in this high school was me.
– Submitted by Rawballs B (18 months ago)
Casey Connor:
I say we go for the coach. He turned Stan. He's the one. Or do you want to wait for them to come to us?
Marybeth Louise Hutchinson:
Either way we're completely unarmed.
Maybe not. I might have some more skat. In my trunk.
Casey Connor:
In your trunk? In your car? Amongst the aliens? Oh, that's convenient!
– Submitted by Daniela T (19 months ago)
Casey Connor:
(final lines in the movie) Things sure have changed, haven't they?
– Submitted by Creep F (3 years ago)
Coach Joe Willis:
(menacingly) Would Miss Drake please report to the Principal's Office?
– Submitted by Creep F (3 years ago)
You both take the drug.
Casey Connor:
(already high) Ohh, showdown!
– Submitted by Creep F (3 years ago)

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