Home Video

The Faculty (1998) - Blu-ray Review

{2jtab: Movie Review}

The Faculty - Blu-ray Review

{googleAds}

<div style="float:left">
<script type="text/javascript"><!--
google_ad_client = "pub-9764823118029583";
/* 125x125, created 12/10/07 */
google_ad_slot = "8167036710";
google_ad_width = 125;
google_ad_height = 125;
//-->
</script>
<script type="text/javascript"
src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js">
</script></div>{/googleAds}

3 Stars

Take me to your teacher.

High school is already weird enough.  Leave it to writer/director Robert Rodriguez to make it even weirder by stocking its halls with horny teens, jocks, geeks, and aliens.  The Faculty may not be the sharpest film in the world but, as a rip on all the lackluster 1990’s teenage horror films, it certainly tasks its predecessors with great characters and genuine shocks.  Humorously misinterpreted by critics upon its original release, The Faculty gets another chance to score with audiences in its release on blu-ray.

Written by Kevin Williamson (Scream), The Faculty takes aim at the idea of invading forces with a sci-fi tale of aliens taking over a cash-strapped school via the teachers.  Harrington High School is a joke.  The teachers – played by Robert Patrick, Famke Janssen, Piper Laurie, Bebe Neuwirth, Jon Stewart, Salma Hayek, and Daniel von Bargen - can’t turn on the air conditioner and the halls are crack house-like with dirt and dingy marks.  They are essentially powerless.  It takes an alien invasion to give them the power they lack.

The clueless students – played by Jordana Brewster, Shawn Hatosy, Laura Harris, Clea Duvall, Elijah Wood, Usher, and Josh Hartnett – practically own the school with their before, during and after school antics.  Going through the typical teenage stuff, they suddenly find themselves at odds with normal when a couple of them notice some serious strange behaviors happening around the school.

When their teachers suddenly take interest in their families and chug gallons of water, these ragamuffin teenagers take notice and band together in an effort to stop the takeover of their school.

Aliens are taking over the school.  That’s about the only new concept The Faculty applies to the worn-out teenage horror genre and while there’s certainly nothing new or fresh about aliens taking over anything in this day and age, Rodriguez and Williamson manage to insert energy into the concept with zeal and strong characters.  Obviously, watching Twilight Zone episodes over and over again has influenced the two filmmakers.  The paranoia pops and the suspense is serious.

You get in-your-face mystery as the teens play truth seekers and are persecuted through their Ohio hometown (but really Austin, Texas) by a faceless enemy that is everywhere.  Take that and mix in a healthy amount of dark humor, good actors, and horror.  The resulting formula is what makes The Faculty work better than it should…even fourteen years later.  Certain elements are obviously recycled (the kill the leader, all will die motif) and certain special effects (some of the alien artifices) are a bit dated, but it all works in presenting a consistently pleasing experience of the cheesy science fiction.

The Faculty, fresh on the HD market, is surprisingly quick-witted and spry.  Its talented cast does more than enough to push the teenage body snatching horror to the breaking point.  There’s no denying, in retrospect, that The Faculty is one of the best examples of 1990’s teenage horror.

{2jtab: Film Details}

The Faculty - Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: R for violence/gore, strong language, drug use and some nudity.
Runtime:
105 mins.
Director
: Robert Rodriguez
Writer: Kevin Williamson
Cast:
Jordana Brewster; Clea Duvall; Laura Harris; Josh Hartnett; Salma Hayek
Genre
: Horror | Thriller
Tagline:
Think your teachers are aliens? You could be right.
Memorable Movie Quote: "So they've just been setting us up over the years with their E.T.'s and their Men In Black movies, just so no one would believe it if it ever happened."
Distributor:
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
Official Site:
Theatrical Release Date:
No theatrical release
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 31, 2012

Synopsis: Students suspect that their teachers are aliens after bizarre occurrences.

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

The Faculty - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
3 Stars

2 stars



Blu-ray Experience
2.5 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - July 31, 2012
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: Dolby Digital 5.1; English: LPCM 2.0
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Playback: Region-free

The 1080p Blu-ray transfer framed at 1.85:1 is solid but not pristine.  Throughout the features, fine details pop, but other than strong reds and blues, the color is a bit too drained to be impressive.  There’s a decent level of grain to the images and that certainly brings forward a nice filmic quality largely missing from today’s releases.  Facial imperfections, textures in walls and clothing, and graffiti on bathroom stalls are all brought forward in this transfer.  Skin tones remain pale and smoothed out while darker scenes are a bit murky.  It’s a decent release, just not a perfect one.  What absolutely does work is the new DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack that accompanies the transfer.  It’s animated and has fun with its sounds – through channel sequencing – and does wonders to punch up the visuals of the transfer.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

This is a misfire.  Echo Bridge acquired this title from Miramax and paid good money for it, but did not pay to port over the original supplemental material.  Nor did they put up the money for a commentary track (unusual for a Rodriguez release) and any new special features.  Boo.

{2jtab: Trailer}

{/2jtabs}

Movie Reviews

Our Tweets

 

You are here: Home Home Video The Faculty (1998) - Blu-ray Review
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
Letterboxd
Find us on Rotten Tomatoes