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Alien teachers are in a class of their own; THE FACULTY (15).

IF you liked Scream, you'll probably enjoy The Faculty. It does for body-snatcher thrillers what Scream did for slasher movies - grabs some ideas from classic horror films, adds unknown, inexpensive teenage actors and serves to a not-very-fussy movie audience.

Now, all schoolkids think their teachers are from another planet - but at Herrington High, they really are.

At first, no-one will believe the school nerd (Elijah Wood, of Deep Impact), when he tries to convince his classmates that the school is being taken over by alien prawns that get coughed into the ears of their victims.

Of course, no-one believes him. As students, parents and even the police are absorbed into the alien conspiracy, only Elijah and a band of misfits can save the school - and planet earth.

Teaming up as unlikely heroes are the school weirdo (Clea DuVall), a brainy beauty queen (Jordana Brewster), the school's star football player (Shawn Hatosy), the school's best drug dealer (Josh Hartnett), and the new girl in town (Laura Harris).

It's the high school's alienated teenagers versus the space aliens.

You'll notice it's an enormous cast, so a huge number of gruesome and gory deaths is guaranteed throughout the film.

The Faculty is fine as a Friday night flick if you don't want to think too hard. The problem is that it openly lifts classic ideas from other, better movies, such as Invasion Of The Body Snatchers and Alien. And every time it does this, it reminds you how thin and silly The Faculty is by comparison.

Not only does the film have little to offer in terms of new ideas, it's not very scary either. The special effects are so deliberately cheesy that they'd be hard pushed putting the wind up a child of five. Lightweight, trashy, forgettable fun.RATING 7
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Synnot, Siobhan
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 9, 1999
Words:298
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