The Rabid Dog’s House is a recurring feature at Wicked Horror where contributor Justin Steele uncovers hidden gems, lost classics, and overlooked indie offerings with a little bite. Flying solo or with his co-host Zena Dixon, he will discuss an array of topics covering film, literature, and television. Check out the latest installment below. In this episode we’re looking back at 1998’s The Faculty!
As if high school was not tough enough, The Faculty is a teen horror sci-fi flick directed by Robert Rodriguez that centers on a group of teens faced with an alien invasion taking over their school. Featuring an up-and-coming cast at the time including Elijah Wood, Clea DuVall, and Josh Hartnett, different members of the high school hierarchy are forced to come together when they notice their teachers (led by iconic stars of horror and science fiction Piper Laurie and Robert Patrick) are acting a bit strange. Swiftly sweeping through the school, changes are coming over the students, too, coinciding with a unique parasite being discovered by loner yearbook photographer Casey (Wood). The remaining teens reluctantly join forces; however, they discover trusting each other might be their biggest mistake.
The Faculty came out during the height of the resurgence of teen horror films in the late 1990s. 1996’s Scream jumpstarted a fresh take on an old formula with Kevin Williamson’s “clever and hip” dialogue, and The Faculty is a prime example of what worked so well during this time in horror history. Like the gang in Scream using their knowledge of ‘80s slashers to survive a knife-wielding killer, the teens of this feature are well-versed on the conventions of science fiction and utilize this skill to live through their high school alien invasion. The Faculty is full of hilarious characters, thrilling CGI effects, and a subtle commentary of the high school class system.