The Faculty

on December 25, 1998 by Dwayne E. Leslie
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   In a small town in Ohio, where the performance of the local high school football team dictates the general feeling of the day, who would think of spending school funds on new books, computers or field trips? But the students' uncomplicated lifestyle is about to take a deadly 180 degree turn. For some reason, the burned-out faculty members are suddenly energized and unusually aggressive. When the school photographer (Elijah Wood of "Deep Impact") catches a glimpse of what is really going on, he has to convince his peers that the school is being taken over by aliens. It's up to a loner ("She's All That's" Clea Duvall), the head cheerleader (Jordana Brewster of TV's "As the World Turns"), the captain of the football team ("Outside Providence's" Shawn Hatosy), the school drug supplier (Josh Hartnett of "Halloween H2O") and the new kid in school ("Scalper's" Laura Harris), led by Wood's character, to put an end to the takeover.
   The seemingly simple plot turns out to be labyrinthine: There are so many twists, turns and dead ends that one's mind must be put in reverse and turn left instead of right to figure out what's going on.
   The best thing about "The Faculty," which brings together the dynamic talents of "Scream" scripter Kevin Williamson and "From Dusk Till Dawn" helmer Robert Rodriguez, is that the characters have intelligence and hidden talents. The sci-fi/horror genre could take a lesson from "The Faculty." Starring Elijah Wood, Laura Harris, Josh Hartnett, Clea Duvall, Shawn Hatosy, Jordana Brewster, Bebe Neuwirth and Robert Patrick. Directed by Robert Rodriguez. Written by Kevin Williamson. Produced by Elizabeth Avellan. A Miramax release. Horror. Rated R for violence/gore, strong language, drug use and some nudity. Running time: 104 min
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