‘Remember that kid everyone ignored on Valentine’s Day? – He remembers you.’
Valentine is a 2001 slasher horror film about five women stalked by an unknown assailant while preparing for Valentine’s Day.
Directed by Jamie Blanks (Urban Legend; Storm Warning; Long Weekend). The film is loosely based on the novel of the same name by Tom Savage.
The movie stars Denise Richards (Starship Troopers, Scary Movie 3); David Boreanaz (Angel; The Crow: Wicked Prayer; Bones), Marley Shelton (Dark Shadows; Planet Terror; Scream 4), Jessica Capshaw, Hedy Burress, and Katherine Heigl.
The project originated at Artisan Entertainment with producer Dylan Sellers and a different director and cast members.
The film was heavily cut to achieve an ‘R’ rating. Valentine earned $20,384,136 in the US and Canada and a total gross of $36,684,136, allowing the film to just surpass its whopping $29 million budget.
Blanks later said in an interview, “Forgive me for [Valentine]. A lot of people give me grief for that, but we did our best.”
At a high school dance in 1988, outcast student Jeremy Melton asks four popular girls to dance. Three girls, Shelley, Lily and Paige reject him cruelly; while the fourth girl, Kate, kindly turns down his offer. Their overweight friend Dorothy accepts Jeremy’s invitation and they proceed to secretly make out.
When school bullies discover the pair, Dorothy claims that Jeremy carnally assaulted her, causing the boys to publicly strip and severely beat him up.
Thirteen years later, Shelley (Katherine Heigl), a medical student, is at the morgue practising for her medical exams. After receiving a vulgar Valentine’s card and being pursued by a killer wearing a Cupid’s mask, Shelley’s throat is slit as she hides in a body bag.
All the girls except Kate (Marley Shelton) and Paige (Denise Richards) receive cards in the same fashion as Shelley. Dorothy (Jessica Capshaw) who is now much thinner receives a card, which reads “Roses are red, Violets are blue, They’ll need dental records to identify you”. Lily (Jessica Cauffiel) receives a box of chocolates and a card that says “You are what you eat”. She then takes a bite of one of the chocolates and vomits upon realising that there are maggots inside the chocolates.
As the girls attend Lily’s artist boyfriend Max’s exhibit, they meet Campbell’s bitter ex-girlfriend Ruthie who tells them off. Lily is isolated and confronted by the killer, who proceeds to shoot her repeatedly with arrows until she falls several floors into a dumpster.
When they have not heard from Lily, the others assume she is out for LA on a work trip. Upon contacting the police, they agree that the culprit could be Jeremy Melton. Meanwhile, Kate’s neighbour is killed by the cupid killer with a hot iron pressed to his face and then bludgeoned with it…
“Where the film falters is on the deeper levels. Valentine is ostensibly about a guy seeking vengeance against the mean girls who hurt his feelings. To drive that idea home, the screenplay would have needed to give the women more of a contemplative quality […] Strong performances, sleek visuals, and solid “kills” certainly keep Valentine watchable, even if it never fulfills the potential inherent in its premise.” The Aisle Seat
“Its hodge-podge identity finds the film misguidedly turning tricks such as exploiting Maxim magazine appeal by shoehorning Katherine Heigl into a tank top and Denise Richards into a hot tub. This was par for the course in 2001, but seems quaint in retrospect as only part of what makes Valentine a vaguely amusing oddity.” Culture Crypt
“The girls aren’t down-to-earth teenagers; they’re bitchy twenty-somethings who have grown up knowing that daddy’s money can sort anything out. Unsurprisingly, they don’t evoke much sympathy when killed off. The murders themselves as heavily inspired by Dario Argento. It’s been a long time since axes, bows and arrows, electric drills and panes of glass have been used in a slasher movie, and the film benefits from it.” Jim Harper, Legacy of Blood: A Comprehensive Guide to Slasher Movies
‘In a roundabout way, Valentine‘s message is that women who overstep their bounds deserve physical, motional, and sexual abuse, because of how they perpetually victimise men. And so, what is actually scariest about Valentine is the film’s tacit attitude that these girls had it coming.’ Pop Matters
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“Valentine may not be the best horror movie of all time. It’s not even the best whodunit in the last 15 years. Still, it’s a fun movie and one I recommend to watch when bored or simply looking for something to do.” Scared Stiff Reviews
“There are some very good elements (the killer was mega creepy), but as a whole it can’t escape its overall feeling of, well, nothingness. It’s a shame that he couldn’t have made more of the talented cast and a competent budget; but in the end, Valentine just feels like a bottle of vodka on a stag night – totally empty.” 2 out of 5, A Slash Above…
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