This film is a homage to some of the best science fiction films around. Two in particular are the “Puppet Masters” and “The Thing.” But I predict that “The Faculty” will soon stand by itself as a classic. It is directed by Robert Rodriguez and has the trademark of his brilliant style.The general plot of “The Faculty” is a tribute to “The Puppet Masters.” And, there are two scenes that are an obvious homage to “The Thing.” This is the "head with the tentacles" scene and the “let’s-see-who-among-us-isn't-human-test" scene. (It was a blood test in “The Thing.”)
Most horror films do not scare me anymore. I have just seen too many and know it is all “smoke and mirrors.” However, the appearance of the monster in “The Faculty” was actually scary. When the queen was swimming across the pool really fast, it was frightening.
Rodriguez’s unique style is evident, especially in the night football game scene. The integration of the fireworks and the coach’s gestures along with the surround 5.1 sound on the DVD almost gave me chills. It was really good. Also, check out how the style of this scene reflects the beginning of the “twitty twister” scene in another Rodriguez classic, “From Dusk till Dawn.”
The ensemble of young actors worked well together, and all the characters they portrayed were believable. One of the characters kept relating the events in the school to science fiction. These were very good in-jokes.
Also look for a brief appearance of Salma Hayek as the school nurse. She is in many of Rodriguez’s films. (“Desperado” and “From Dusk till Dawn,” to name two.)
This film far outshines films like "I Know What You Did Last Summer," “Halloween H2O," the “Scream” series, etc. The plot was not as trite and predictable as most horror films. The story moved at a good pace, and I didn’t get bored with the story as I constantly wanted to know what was going to happen next.
The DVD version is disappointing as there is no director’s commentary. However, the sound and picture are excellent.This is a science fiction film with a strong plot, believable characters, and excellent direction. It is a must see.