The Faculty (1998)

Robert Rodriguez directs Josh Hartnett, Elijah Wood and Laura Harris in this teen sci-fi horror mash-up where a group of high schoolers realise their school is being taken over by alien bodysnatcher parasites.

This was right up my alley as a teen. A movie referencing pretty much everything I was into from Invasion of the Body Snatchers to The Terminator. It essentially is an unashamed blend of The Breakfast Club and The Thing. I knew the horror wasn’t all that scary, the action never really reached an apex but I liked it. The Faculty was knowingly unoriginal, reconstituting familiar thrills so the fanboys and the uninitiated could have a fine night at the multiplex alike. I never picked it up again. I felt it might suffer under the scrutiny of a revisit. Yet 20 years down the line I had a Friday night blast again. It is probably Rodriguez most anonymous film but he homages with a passion. The cast is tip-top for trash – this made Hartnett a star, Clea Duvall and Laura Harris impress, the excellent Bebe Neuwirth gets a rare movie outing, everyone else rests heavily on their genre back catalogue. It really is a movie of simple pleasures, repackaged simple pleasures, like a covers band working out a smile inducing toe tapping playlist.

7

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