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3.4 out of 5 stars
Valentine
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
I think Valentine is a vastly underrated, thrilling horror movie. At its root, it is obviously a slasher film, but this movie features great pacing, true suspense, quite effective musical transitions, and, most importantly, a terrific finish. Valentine not only has a recognizable plot, it incorporates some dandy instances of symmetry that really help tie everything together in the end. I wish I could tell you just how satisfying the ending is. I had my suspicions about the identity of the killer, but several late twists made me doubt my theory, change it, and finally just applaud the filmmakers for essentially keeping me in the dark up until the very end. I know the clues are there all along, and many people may discover the secret well before the final revelation, but this experienced horror fan was kept off-balance throughout. I also have to admit that this movie made me jump a couple of times (and I can't say that about very many horror movies). With significant help from the musical score, suspenseful scenes were really presented well-just long enough to make you grit your teeth but not long enough to become tiresome. In trailers, the movie looks like another Scream (and there are definite similarities), but Valentine stands head and shoulders above the great majority of slasher films.
A lot of horror films feature attractive women, but Valentine is in a class all by itself. What you get here is Katherine Heigl, Marley Shelton, Jessica Cauffiel, the charming Jessica Capshaw, and-drum roll please-Denise Richards. Denise Richards is absolutely stunning in this movie-the smoldering, sultry looks, the prayer-answering hot tub scene, and the bedroom scene I won't even attempt to describe. Watching the creepy old detective put the moves on her is rather comical, but you can't blame the guy for trying.
I must say I really love the killer in this movie. While the concept of the masked killer is far from original, the cherub mask is a cool, creepy look. This killer also enjoys variety, employing a number of different, equally effective implements of death. He works his way up from your basic knife across the throat and crossbow to broken shards of glass and a couple of really innovative weapons. No two deaths are remotely alike, and you can just tell how much the killer enjoys his/her work. The DVD's energetic club reel of Orgy's song Opticon is great, but I would caution you not to watch it before watching the movie because it does give a little away in terms of who lives and who dies.
Valentine has almost everything I want in a horror movie-a creepy killer, gorgeous actresses, all manner of killings, miscellaneous laughs, an actual plot of some complexity, nail-biting suspense, and a less than obvious ending that totally satisfied this horror fan. I would not have objected to some nudity, but this movie really doesn't need it. It's hot, it's sizzling, it's sexy, it's smart, it's a carnival of murderous delight. You won't find many slasher films better than Valentine.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2001
Format: DVD
VALENTINE is a new horror-thriller about five young girls who are being stalked by a Cupid mask wearing killer who could possibly be the same guy they all rejected back in middle school. There are many plot twists, lots of action, lots of action, many suspects, and a high body count. This movie turned out to be much better than I expected, and I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of horror movies!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
This seemed 'appropriate' to watch on Valentine's. I keep getting told it's 'appropriate' to watch certain movies at certain times. The only movie I've ever tried that with (apart from Christmas movies), is Sweet November, which is the perfect movie to watch in November. This seemed appropriate to watch alone (gimme some sympathy please) on Valentine's night.

During the first few minutes, it very obviously steals ideas from a few other movies: the Halloween-style score at the beginning; a guy getting a red liquid thrown over him, similar to the infamous pigs blood scene from Carrie and the young guy's character being called Jason. There are also quite a few, probably unintentional, references to other teenie movies, particularly Scream.

I am not the biggest fan of Denise Richards, as her eyebrows are a little overpowering, and definitely need plucked. Plus, she's too perfect - hopefully not anymore, considering at the time of writing, she has one kid, and another on the way! The rest of the characters were your stereotypical teen slasher cast: the fat girl, who's now thin; all the girls wear tight revealing tops, with everything pushed up around their necks; and the guys look suitably easy on the eye.

However, the movie left you guessing right to the very end, and ends in such a way, that you're still looking confused as to who the killer really was when the credits are rolling. Everyone is thrown in the frame at one point, as it is with all slasher flicks. You're wondering at the end, how some people ended up being there though.

In one scene, Kat tells Dorothy that her boyfriend, Adam Carr (David Boreanaz), is 'no angel'. This is, of course, referring to Boreanaz's hit TV series, "Angel".

The movie looks glossy enough, however it was filmed in only 42 days. David Boreanaz shot his entire character role in less than two weeks. Katherine Heigl had only 3 days to shoot her scenes. She was already committed to TV's "Roswell". And at a cost of $10 million this is the cheapest film to ever have a Superbowl spot.

Jessica Cauffiel's character Lily is set to go to Los Angeles the day after she's killed. In Urban Legends Final Cut (done by the same director?), Cauffiel's character is also set to go to Los Angeles the day after she's killed.

The order in which Jeremy asks the girls to dance is also the order in which they die. The girls' responses to Jeremy's asking them to dance foreshadows their fates. Lily acts disgusted when asked to dance, and is later disgusted when she bites into a chocolate with maggots inside. Paige says she'd rather be boiled alive, and is electrocuted in a hot tub. Dorothy ends up blaming Jeremy for her actions, and Jeremy/Adam later frames her for the murders.

This is an instantly forgettable movie, apart from Denise Richards' (Paige) scene in the hot tub. I will not be setting foot anywhere near a hot tub after watching that. Not that I ever would, but you never know when it might arise. It's your typical teen slasher flick, with no surprises, and a subtle twist at the end. Not mind-blowing, but not falling in the god-awful category either.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This review is really like a companion piece to Daniel Jolley's Amazon review of October 12, 2002. He has already expressed everything I could about this movie in the best possible way. So many have panned it which is why I found Daniel's review to be so refreshing, and it inspired me to chime in my own two cents and up the review average in favor of this highly entertaining and very fun horror movie.

Some have said that "Scream" reignited the slasher genre in the mid '90s but I have never been a big fan of that one as it is to me almost like a play or satire on the familiar slasher movie formulas rather than a bona fide slasher itself. "Valentine" director Jamie Blanks however, clearly a die hard slasher fan just like I and perhaps you are if you're reading this, seems to realize that those same familiar formulas that "Scream" pokes fun at are formulas that work, and have made for some great entertainment since the late '70s and early '80s when the slasher wave first broke. Blanks even admits in the director's commentary track of the DVD that "Valentine's" plot is not the most original but boy does this one ever deliver.

And just what is that plot. It concerns revenge for cruel taunting in junior high school, with each of the young women involved years later receiving warped Valentine's greetings from the unknown perpetrator, who proceeds to stalk and pick them off one by one.

And how beautiful each of those women have grown to be! To echo what Daniel said in his review, from the male perspective "Valentine" is a delight to behold. You get the brief early appearance by Katherine Heigl, who looks awesome and fetching as a med student in a tank top; Marley Shelton, a stunning blonde who plays nice girl Kate, and Denise Richards, who sizzles as the not so nice Paige. Oh yeah, and for the female contingent, I'm told that David Boreanaz (as Kate's mysterious alcoholic-leaning boyfriend) is not unpleasant on the eyes. True, as compared to the early '80s, in these slightly more enlightened and dare I say "politically correct" times, there is no out and out nudity in "Valentine" but as Daniel stated, the sultry bedroom bondage scene and Denise Richards in the hot tub scene to me more than make up for it.

But at the heart of it, "Valentine" succeeds in large part because of its sense of fun and that it presents hip humor (like the bit on the perils of speed dating) in place of the usual stomach-churning gore. In the spirit of my favorite slashers, it does not take itself at all seriously and is played mainly for fun.

That's not to say there is no gore or sleaze to behold here; it is a slasher movie after all. Blanks directs the film very stylishly and presents the perfect update on the classic slasher template for a new generation. The killer wears a very cool cherub mask and the stalk and slash scenes are great and very inventive and quite suspenseful. While the premise may not be too original (which again, Blanks readily admits), to echo the proverbial saying, if it ain't broke, why fix it?

I love slasher movies and for all the reasons stated here and in Daniel's earlier review "Valentine" is a new classic for a new generation that stands up with the best slashers of the past.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
In my quest to absorb every slasher movie in the realm of cinema, I finally had the opportunity to watch "Valentine" last night. Which was of course was Valentine's Day Eve. Made in 2001, the only thing I knew about it was David Boreanaz starred in it and that the movie was panned. Nevertheless, I allowed myself to be accosted by cupid and watched this by the numbers horror flick.

The movie opens in 1988 at a middle school dance (man do I remember those) and we find little Jeremy Melton asking a variety of girls if they would dance with him. It should be noted that Jeremy is a bit of a nerd. Therefore it isn't too surprising that all of the girls shoot him down in a manner that is very cruel. So Jeremy ends up being humiliated in front of his peers.

Fast forward 13 years later and all the girls, rather women, who tortured Jeremy all those years ago, are being stalked. They aren't sure who is stalking them, but whoever he/she is their goal is kill each one of these girls. Donned in black and wearing a cupid mask, this homicidal maniac is the perfect symbol of anti-love. Is the killer Jeremy or is there someone else shooting deadly bow and arrows? As with many slasher movies, the plot is rather simple, but that is okay.

I am not sure why this movie was received so negatively. I found the kills to be rather creative and some of the scenes were creepy. The movie truly followed the "slasher" formula with the usually gallery of characters and personalities. The movie was both predictable and surprising. The acting was average for this type of movie. Notwithstanding, I have yet to watch a slasher movie that is renowned for the performance of its actors and actresses.

David Boreanaz know for playing on the TV shows "Angel", "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Bones" did a good job. I mean nothing to get excited about but good nevertheless. Denise Richards did a wonderful job being the sultry, stuck up, and been around the block vixen. Marley Shelton and Jessica Capshaw also did a decent job in their performance. It was also interesting to see a much younger Katherine Heigl in this movie, way before "Grey's Anatomy" and her mainstream success. Heigl had more curves in this movie than she does today; I found this very refreshing as well as her performance. However if she ever wins an Academy Award I doubt this movie will be a career highlight.

I found this movie to be really enjoyable, maybe it has aged well or I have watched so many damn slasher movies that I just put my brain on cruise control. The soundtrack is also pretty suitable for this film. I have seen worse (horror) films than this one and am glad that there is a horror movie that I can now watch every Valentine's Day.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2006
Format: DVD
Valentine is a great slasher-style flick done in the same style as Scream and those type of movies that dominated this genre for a while. And it's a fun movie too. 5 girl friends become the target for a killer cloaked in all black and a cherub mask. This is my favorite movie to watch for Valentine's Day. Denise Richards as Paige is my favorite of the characters. She's funny and sexy and does a great job with the part. I also liked that Marley Shelton's character, Kate, had excellent delivery with some of her typical dumb-blonde lines. The movie has plenty of funny parts to it, like the speed dating, Kate's scary neighbor, and the scene at the party with Paige and Brian to name a few. It also has interesting little elements woven throughout, like a touch of red in an otherwise drab room. The sets and costumes all convey this (if you don't believe me, just watch for Ruthie's sweater at the party...it's red) and that's really interesting to see. I've seen this movie no less than 20 times and I just love it. It certainly delivers the goods, but of course I've seen much scarier movies than this. It's just fun and not meant to be taken too seriously, much like the Scream trilogy. I also love to hate Daniel Cosgrove in this, as per my tradition of hating him since Beverly Hills, 90210 (most of you, however, will probably remember him best as the jerky frat guy who was the boyfriend of Ryan Reynolds' love interest, Tara Reid, in Van Wilder). He just does a great job playing jerk characters...it's like he's in his element. One thing that is quite shocking to me though is this sticker price. I paid $6 for this DVD 2 years ago and I have no idea why Amazon has it priced so highly now. I do truly adore Valentine and I highly recommend it to those that enjoy movies of this sort, however I also recommend that you look for a better price on it and then it will be a very, VERY worthy addition to your DVD collection. Happy Valentine's Day!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2006
Format: DVD
While not quite a landmark original, Jamie Blanks "VALENTINE" is still a very solid & underrated slasher flick with a bit more substance & a better ending then most from the mainstream flock of 'SCREAM' clone flops such as 'Urban Legend''I Know What You Did Last Summer' or every sequel & threequel that they can sqeeze out of the bubble-gum machine. There is nothing new or original about this film but what makes it better then the other 'SCREAM' clones is the some what old-school 80's vibe that comes from a mix between a good Director,the very spooky masked killer(Cupid) & a guessing game with a great pace that actually keeps you on your toes guessing till the very tippity top of the end.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2001
If Critics could get over the fact that... Yes, Girls are Chased down dark hallways by a Mask wearing Serial Killer in "Valentine", they would actually realise that the film Does bring a few New Tricks to the somewhat Tired Formula.
For Example, There are No Killer Monologues at the Climax... You know what I mean. Eg, "Yes, I killed all those Scantily Clad Teens, and you Know Why... Because Blah Blah Blah." They tend to get on my Nerves and Spoil a Perfectly Good Horror film. They Slow the Pacing down to a Crawl and they turn the Scary Killer into a Cry Baby. "Valentine" Cleverly does away with them.
The most Original Thing the film does, the thing that sets it apart from All the Others is the fact that it doesn't make Any Pop-Culture References... Not One. (some may count the "Angel" reference, but I wouldn't, that was probably just Coincidence) Pop-Culture References (Eg. Mentioning Jamie Lee Curtis' Horror films in "Scream", mentioning the OJ Killing in "Urban Legends - Final Cut") drive me Insane, they are thrown in my Young Screenwriters who Think they are being Hip and Clever, it May have worked in "Scream" and "Bride of Chucky", but it Doesn't work in "Scream 3" or "Urban Legends - Final Cut". Quentin Tarantino does it Extremely Well, Kevin Smith does in Extremely Poorly. (in "Clerks" he had the right idea, in all his other films he has Blown it) "Valentine" showed a lot of Class leaving them out and I Thank the Makers from the Bottom of my Heart.
The film cleverly sets up Many Characters with the Opportunity and the Motive to be the Killer; they also play Twenty-Something's, which Is a Nice change. I believe we've All seen enough Teens Bite the Big one lately. I Also Loved how the film takes itself Totally Seriously, that is Good, it is Daring to do that these days as it's Safer to poke a little Fun at the Genre.
The Story involves 5 Beautiful young women getting Stalker by a Serial Killer. The Detective on the case my have a Suspect, but the Girls believe it is a boy that they used to Tease at School. They receive Gruesome Valentines day cards that are Followed by Many Murders, Buckets of Blood, Sexy Stars and Cool Camerawork.
The Performances are Good, as the film Is a Horror film. If the film were a Drama, I wouldn't be so Lenient. Marley Shelton stars as Kate (the Nice one). She basically has to Carry the film and she does an Adequate job. Jessica Capshaw is Dorothy (the Big one); she acts much like Marley, lots of Smiles and Stares. Denise Richards is Paige (the Sexy one); she acts with her Eyebrows and mostly just replays her "Wild Things" role. Jessica Cauffiel is Lily (the Funny one), she may be the funny one in "Road Trip", she may be the funny one in "Urban Legends - Final Cut", but she is Not the funny one here. (Jason is, but I'll get to him later) Lastly, Katherine Heigl plays Shelley (the Smart one), she doesn't get much Screen time, and it is Quite a Shame, as I am quite a Fan of hers.
The Five of them are Very Beautiful and Quite Watch-able; the Guys are Also quite good. David Boreanaz plays Adam, Kate's On-again-Off-again boyfriend. He may not have the Largest Range of Emotions for a Leading man, but... well... He's just Cool. Daniel Cosgrove is Believable as Campbell, Dorothy's Live-in boyfriend who may be a Conman. He is Believable as a Nice guy and Believable as a Conman. The Best Actor award goes to Adam Harrington, he plays Jason, a very Small role, but he makes the Most of it. He may only get about 6 minutes of Screen time, but that is all he needed to make one hell of an Impression on me. He is Hilarious.
Jamie Blanks' Directing is Assured and Effective. He Knows the Genre, he knows where to put the Camera, when to Cut away for Maximum Effects. He is a Natural Born Horror Director. The Death Scenes are Elaborate and Original and no matter How Tired you might be of seeing Slow Killers catching Fast Kids, you will Not be Bored by this film, it Keeps you, and the Characters on your toes.
Overall, "Valentine" may be very Similar to many other Stalk-and-Slash flicks, but it Does bring a few new Bits and Pieces to the Genre, as well as being Daring, Fun, Sexy and Scary. The only other Modern Horror film that can Honestly say all that without cracking a smile is "Scream".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEon August 7, 2009
Format: DVD
It's moody and atmospheric, and avoids 8 ot 9 of the 100 serial killer movie cliches, so I give it four stars. I found the Cupid cherub mask sort of scary, though the bloody nose that the killer sprouted seemed like--DNA? It's a little bit like SCREAM in that the best known cast member gets bumped off first--only at the time of release, VALENTINE's first victim wasn't anywhere near as well known as she is today, so what does that say about the movie's originality? Not much I guess. The victim in question has red Lindsay Lohan hair, and weighs about 25 pounds more than she does today in the age of her superstardom.

The main story in the movie revolves around Marley Shelton and her inability to trust her boyfriend who drinks too much. I think that the movie's writers probably had some personal experience of the 12 step kind, because no matter how much product David B. puts onto his hair, you just can't trust him to stay on the wagon. The movie is set in San Francisco and I will watch any set-in-San-Francisco, filmed in Vancouver movie two or three times, and this one really holds up. Not because of Marley Shelton's acting--she is uncharacteristically terrible here, perhaps uncomfortable in having to play a girl with an unpleasant past. All of these I Know What You Did Last Summer movies, where now grown adults suffer for an act of cruelty they committed while teenagers, have the same ambivalence towards repentance and retribution. Not once do any of the girls admit they did anything wrong to Jeremy Melton. Pity that. It might have made all the difference in the world, and prevented wealthy Dorothy's Valentine's party from becoming a bloodbath.

My favorite character is Kate's crazy neighbor down the hall who speaks only in rhymes to her, "Want a date, Kate? I think you're great, Kate." The scene where we find out what this guy, dressed in his underwear, *really* wants from Kate is the only scene that reminded me of actual life in San Francisco. They should have thrown the rest of the film away and just started building on that one scene.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Many can be said about this dismally bad horror flick. It tries to do something unique, but in fact retread the old, battered road. It tries to imitate the chill of "Scream" and other post-modern horror movies, giving some surprise twists, but, no, it only irritates the audience.
Think about this. Four girls are supposed to be threatened by a murderer stalking behind them. But none of them takes it seriously. Not a detective from the police, who instead would sexually harass Denise Richards. Many people around them (including very one of them) are suddenly missing, but they don't seem to worry about it. Ok, so they are such irresponsible, cold-blooded chicks who bullied one poor boy long time ago. But, then, why should we care about them?
The whole premise is totally nonsense; at "a maze video party scene," guests that were swarming around the room suddenly are gone from the scene, and the killer can appear without being seen, even moving some objects and walls as it wishes, and finally desposes the body very automativally. On top of this risible development of situation, at another party scene, AGAIN, the people vanish while our heroine is taking a bath ALONE, and the killer chases its target ALONE, and hides the bodies wherever it wishes. No, no.
Pick any great horror films in the past, and they all tell you that you cannot make a good, bone-chilling flick without paying attention to logics during the course of the entire film. "Valentine" never does. Consequently, scares come occasionally, but not with enough impact. As Denise Richards is gorgeous, I give two stars, but otherwise it is unbelievably bad. But what is also unbelievable is a fact that a major studio is involved in this project. Now it is scary.
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