a critiQal film review Valentine (2000)

  • DVD
  • Vudu

Plot: After one of their friends is murdered by a mysterious man in a mask, 4 friends begin receiving odd Valentine's Day presents signed "J.M." Trying to figure out who it is, they can only come up with one person - a nerd who hit on all of them in 6th grade, then got beaten up and sent to reform school because of them. But it can't be him...can it?

555 words (Est. Reading Time 2m 46s)
  • ...a by-the-numbers slasher flick not worth the time.

Hot off the success of “Angel” (TV) and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (TV), David Boreanaz forays into feature films, teaming up with Denise Richards for Valentine, yet another Halloween (1978) / Friday the 13th (1980) ripoff. Does it succeed where so many have tried and failed? Nope.

The characters didn’t need to do much acting in Valentine. Denise Richards and the rest of the girls basically needed to know how to look sexy and scream. They did that, no problem. But other than that, they just kind of had to be there, and recite their lines. Not too much of a struggle, even for a bad actor.

David Boreanaz and the boys had to act suspicious, since they are all suspected at one point or another. That takes a bit more work, but not much. With these low criteria, everyone was able to play out their roles with ease.

The plot was thin. A sixth grader holding a grudge all these years later? C’mon. The way the story was shown also made the film boring. By throwing the sixth grade dance in the viewer’s face right from the start, it detracts a bit from the film. Rather then spend all their time making the viewer guess who it is, it might have made the movie a bit more interesting if we had to guess why, at least for a little while, on top of guessing who.

If you guess who it is right from the beginning (it’s possible), it ruins the film a lot. You lose interest in the rest, and almost just want to fast forward to the end to see whodunit. There were also a lot of mysterious strangers thrown in, for no purpose at all.

Sure, it’s helpful for Valentine to have more people to make you choose from, but this film threw in a few pointless scenes. There were some characters that only showed up for a scene or two, and could have been easily cut.

The filmmakers should have concentrated on making it tougher to guess who, rather then just throwing tons of people into the film, and hoping the viewer would get confused, and not guess correctly.

On top of that, the death scenes were incredibly quick, and not very satisfying for the horror fan.

The special effects were only okay. With the super fast death scenes, it wasn’t hard for the flub-ups in makeup, etc., to be missed. They tried to make Valentine more of a thriller then a horror film, and should have giving the viewer the blood and guts that we look for in a horror film. Stop with the creepy music – it gets real old, real quick – and get on with the gore. Either that, or market it differently.

David Boreanaz can be forgiven for this mis-step of his, as his eagerness to jump into feature films probably caused him to skip reading the script. Denise Richards seems to be sinking lower and lower into B-Movie status, which puts this movie right about where she belongs, and pretty much everyone else was just filler.

Hopefully, the novel by Tom Savage was a bit better. Try giving that a read, instead.

If Jason X (2002) as a suspense thriller (and less gore) is your cup of tea, then you’re welcome to be Valentine‘s next victim.

As for me, once was enough.

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