Body Snatchers was just a made up story...
Herrington High School, just your everyday place of learning. That is until the teachers start behaving strangely. It seems there is an alien plot to take over the world and only a rag-tag group of students can save us!
When you pair Robert Rodriguez (director) and Kevin Williamson (writer) what sort of movie do you really think you are going to get? Well the answer is The Faculty, which in all honesty holds absolutely no surprises for anyone familiar with the guys who gave us From Dusk Till Dawn & Scream respectively. That's not to say that The Faculty isn't a fun horror/sci-fi film, because it absolutely is, it's just should be noted that The Faculty is all that it can be as regards the makers and the nature of the genre beast.
The film has rightly been tagged as a cross between Invasion Of The Body Snatchers and any teen led Highschool movie (you can add Invaders From Mars in the mix too), this is intentional, something that's apparent since our intrepid students discuss "Snatchers" amongst other movie references, and one of them, Stokely (Clea Duval), is a sci-fi aficionado . As things progress it's also evident that the makers here are movie fans making a movie for movie fans, all be it one aimed solely at the teenage demographic. There's much satire around and cliché's are widely embraced, but again it works because there is no hidden agenda. There's gore and hugely effective scenes involving blood, slugs, heads and an eyeball, whilst slasher fans are catered for in a couple of - if seemingly pointless as regards the alien's intentions - memorable scenes.
The youngsters in the cast, all purposely playing total stereotypes, all do what is required, with Josh Hartnett, Duval & Elijah Wood particularly shining. Yet it's with the adult actors that The Faculty really gains its tongue in cheek momentum. Robert Patrick, Famke Jansen, Salma Hayek, Piper Laurie, Bebe Neuwirth and even Jon Stewart all file in for a bit of alien parasitical fun. Come the end of the mania, with the staple alien queen reveal and showdown, there's the overriding feeling that the film could have been so much more. Certainly it's guilty of being a touch too derivative, where a little focus has been lost in the self referential and knowing in-jokery genre winks. But ultimately it's a groovy ride is this one, not in the least bit serious, but one to clip open a tin of beer with and embrace it for what it certainly is. Entertaining sci-fi alien invasion hokum. 7/10