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This formulaic, early aughts slasher has little substance and a laughable mask, but it boasts an impressive cast of recognizable faces.

Rejected, ridiculed, and beaten up as a kid, Jeremy decides to enact revenge against his abusers, but no one knows what Jeremy looks like all grown up. Let’s dig into 2001’s VALENTINE, directed by Jamie Blanks.

As I See It

Based on the title of the novel by Tom Savage, there is no better way to describe the motions of the movie than low-hanging fruit. The character building is vapid, and the whole film revolves completely around dates, dating, and bad dates. They took the holiday very literally.

It’s a revenge horror that doesn’t feel justified.

They throw red herrings at us in abundance. The most obvious choice will make you roll your eyes and predict it’s him who is the killer until he ends up with an ax in his back, and you’re scrambling to see what kind of lunacy they can pull out of their pocket.

There are a few regurgitated shots from Scream, and I find it hard to blame them for copying a master like Wes Craven, as I believe the tense moments in Scream were shot beautifully. The action and chase scenes left something to be desired, though.

A killer nü metal soundtrack probably sold really well at the time, as I remember it being a popular trend for horror films around the turn of the century. Freddy vs. Jason, Spawn, and Bride of Chucky all had nü metal and metal bands adding some panache to their stories.

Famous Faces

David Boreanaz (Adam) played the titular role of Angel in the vampiric spin-off of Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series.

Denise Richards (Paige) was the late nineties genre darling that crossed over into the mainstream enough to become a household name. Her strongest performance might have been Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers, an adaptation of Robert Heinlein’s novel.

Marley Shelton (Kate) is another Scream connection as she’s played by Sheriff Judy Hicks. She was also in Robert Rodriguez’s and Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse.

Katherine Heigl (Shelley) burst onto the scene in My Father the Hero alongside Gerard Depardieu and played in a couple of genre flicks, including Bride of Chucky, before making a huge impact in the Judd Apatow comedy Knocked Up alongside Seth Rogen.

Johnny Whitworth (Max Raimi) played AJ in Empire Records. One of the best movies of the nineties.

Of Gratuitous Nature

Filling the gap of holiday horror with this Valentine’s Day-themed film gave the filmmakers plenty of opportunity for puns and no-brainer dialogue and plot points. But they didn’t have to make the entire film about boring dates.

Heartthrob

This is a cast of beautiful people. Many of the actors in this film became fan favorites in various TV series and films. You can throw a dart and land on someone that could steal your heart. For my money, Johnny Whitworth is a really good-looking dude.

Ripe for a Remake

Someone explained the origins of St. Valentine’s Day to me this year, and it sounded gnarly. I don’t remember a single thing they told me, but it did sound like a great basis — or at least inspiration — for a holiday-themed horror.

Spawns

No progeny to report.

Where to Watch

Shout Factory released a collector’s edition with an immense amount of new footage shot specifically for this release as well as the missing death scenes that were cut out of the theatrical run. You can rent to stream on Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, and Vudu.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 2


THE DAILY DIG
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