Top positive review
Great cast makes this worth watching.
Reviewed in the United States on September 28, 2016
Many people call The faculty a cross between The Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Breakfast Club and they're right. Five of the six main characters exactly parallel the characters of the Hughes film and it is pretty close to a remake of Body Snatchers. Herrington High School in Ohio is a typical small town school of the late 90's with the usual mix of "in" and "out" students, a fairly loose drug culture and a hometown football team. Casey (Elijah Wood) is one of the "out" students, so out he's vulnerable to being bullied. His only salvation is being the photographer for the school paper. Things are already happening beneath the normal surface when he finds what looks to be a strange, worm-like creature on the football field where he eats lunch alone.
He shows it to his science class where the teacher, Mr.Furlong (played by Jon Stewart, a real surprise) puts it in water where it reactivates itself.This begins a series of events that lead to the six disparate students coming together to try to stop the alien enemy using the school as a staging ground for an invasion. It takes off from there and never loses its pace, quickly moving from one scenario to another. The balance between the horror and comedy elements is carefully sustained. Though generally called a horror or sci-fi comedy, the comedy is mostly in its satire and often light mood and not in actual attempts to be funny. The scary and serious elements predominate.
The best thing about the film is its cast. It is probably because director Robert Rodriguez had been making a name for himself with films like El Mariachi, Desperado and From Dusk Until Dawn. Of course many of the younger actors were just starting out. But practically every actor is perfect in their role. Imagine a school with Bebe Neuwirth as the Principal, Salma Hayek as the school nurse and Robert Patrick as the Coach. Piper Laurie makes a rare appearance as the school's drama teacher. The students include Elijah Wood as the geek, Josh Hartnett as the troublemaker, Shawn Hatosy as the earnest jock, Jordana Brewster as the pretty girl clea Duvall as the Goth girl and Laura Harris as a sweet and naive new student from the South.
Just sit back and enjoy this film. I was surprised by how good it was and watched it a second tie. It's almost perfect of its type but has (for me) a trick in the resolution that ties things up a little too neatly. It hurt the film a bit for me but didn't ruin it.