Published Feb 01, 2001When one considers it, it's surprising that more people don't go on kill crazy rampages when February 14th rolls around. Valentine's Day is a sick, sadistic ritual designed to torment the lonely and unloved. Watching happy couples celebrate their euphoria and shove it down everyone's throat, it is enough to drive any self-respecting misanthrope off the deep end, and while that's not exactly the premise for "Valentine," it might have been a better one.
Directed by Jamie Blanks ("Urban Legend," which was clue one that this is going to suck. Clue two is that the screenwriters also wrote "Deep Blue Sea"), "Valentine" is yet another cookie-cutter offering in the postmodern self-aware horror movie genre, except "Valentine" lacks the intelligence of "Scream" and makes "I Know What You Did Last Summer" seem groundbreaking; lacking either the self-deprecating aspect of the "new" horror movie, any semblance of witty dialogue or the ability to side-step conventional clichés.
"Valentine" opens with a flashback scene to a grade six high-school Valentine dance (seriously), where a geeky kid gets rejected by every girl in the gymnasium and is tormented by the boys for making out with an equally unlucky, overweight girl, before being sent to juvenile hall for "attacking" the back-stabbing heifer, (don't ask). Forward ahead a number of years and the very mean little girls have all grown up into very attractive, vain, shallow, and desperately lonely women (most notably Denise Richards, who was far superior in "Starship Troopers"), who find themselves on the receiving end of some very cool, if somewhat morbid looking Valentine cards (what is this serial killer, a graphics design artist?) after one of their number, who they haven't seen in years, gets killed, mysteriously. Could it be the psycho kid from grade six, who everyone was mean to? Maybe, maybe not, and could this all be taking place around Valentine's day? Sure, what the hell!
Thus begins the stalking, the false scares, the laughable plot and the seemingly endless battle of romance versus revenge. In the things about the movie that didn't suck ass department (and they are few), David Boreanaz (TV's "Angel") plays a love interest who is a suspect and a drunk, and shows he might have a future on the big screen, but even Angel can't save this movie. In the end, you care little about the people being murdered, there is little gore, the ending is convoluted and how the hell do so many people get killed in public without anyone noticing? Regardless, Valentine is neither scary, intelligent or gory enough to stand out from the rest of the pack.