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Tuesday, September 30, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 49.0° F  Overcast
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The Faculty
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I had some hopes for The Faculty despite the dumb promos, because the script was by Kevin Williamson (Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer) and direction by Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn). Rodriguez should maybe rent some of those Robin Williams films about holding onto your vision--Good Will Hunting would do fine--because he has clearly lost his on the road to making The Faculty. This is pretty much an average episode of "The X-Files" (creepy parasites take over human hosts) without the ballast of Mulder and Scully or the absorbing labyrinth of the ongoing quest motif. Williamson's scripts have been praised for their postmodern exploitation of horror-movie conventions, but he can't let himself off the hook by having one of his teens (Elijah Wood) say "Maybe 'The X-Files' is right." It's not a witty intertextual reference; it's a lame excuse for lack of originality.

But The Faculty does have touches that work. The school is a cartoon of the most nightmarish day you ever spent in high school. After the teachers are taken over by the parasites, they get sexy (the women do, anyway); and there's a scene where our gang of teen heroes has to (albeit reluctantly) take recreational drugs because it's the only way to discover who is and is not an alien. You can see them all thinking it over. ("Do drugs...to save the planet...yes!")

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