Director – Jamie Blanks (Storm Warning, Urban Legend)
Starring – Denise Richards (Starship Troopers, American Satan), Marley Shelton (Planet Terror, Scream 4), and Jessica Chapshaw (Bones, ER)
Release Date – 2001
Rating – 2/5
Blu Release – 4/5
Tagline – “Love hurts”
I was born in the mid 80s and grew up in the 90s but I was never a 90s slasher fan. I really enjoyed the late 70s and 80s slashers but once we hit the meta-slasher phase of the sub-genre I found myself not interested and pushing more towards horror comedies and zombie flicks. As I got older I found myself being a little more open minded to these films. In 2008 for my birthday my wife bought me the Scream films on DVD. This was my first time seeing them. Honesty, I didn’t mind them but they didn’t have that charm that the classic slashers had.
With Valentine’s Day approach Scream Factory is releasing the 2001 slasher Valentine on blu. This is another one of those post-Scream slashers that I had never seen because the trailer painted it as a painfully boring late 90s slasher. However, the artwork for the Scream release suckered me in. I absolutely loved it. I requested a copy and just got it in before the holiday.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a group of young women who are living their best lives. Some are in struggling relationships, struggling to find someone, or jumping from man to man. Their lives are interrupted when one them is found murdered and the initials JM start appearing on crude Valentines. While the police investigate her murder the remaining friends quickly get back into the swing of things but they are start to fall one by one at the hands of a Cupid mask wearing killer with a grudge against them all.**Spoiler Alert**
I went into this expecting some late 90s/early 00s cheese and was greeted with something that tried so hard to be something it wasn’t. I love holiday slashers. They are my weekness but this slasher wanted to keep the viewer on their toes as the film came to an end and failed miserably.
The acting in this one is actually pretty damn good. I really loved the cast. We have Katherine Heigl on top billing for this but she is only in the film for about 5 minutes which is 4 minutes and 59 seconds too long if you ask me. With that being said, I really like the remainder of the cast. They really get into their characters and deliver. Granted, the characters are painfully plain but they did the best with what they were given.
The story for this one attempts to deliver that traditional slasher story formula where someone that was wronged comes back years later for revenge. It almost works until the end when we get the killer “reveal” and then the killer “reveal.” this was shitty no matter how you slice it. The film had me teetering on the edge of somewhat enjoying it and wasting my time and completely lost me in the last 20 minutes. It almost feels rushed along with wanting to give something to the viewer that will blow their mind. Instead, it results in a half assed attempt at a mindfuck.
Finally, the film has some impressive kills with solid practical effects and some laughable CGI. The kills we get are mostly pretty brutal with some solid practical effects which is something I was not expecting. Sadly, there is a few where horrible CGI was used and it was almost laughable. It did not hold up well at all. Overall, Valentine is a holiday slasher that fails for many reasons. The story can’t find a proper ending and the Valentine theme is where the story is set but the kills, aside from one, doesn’t have anything to really do with the holiday. Collectors would want this one for their collection featuring amazing artwork but this is one film I can’t get behind.
2K Scan Of The Original Film Elements Supervised And Approved By Director Jamie Blanks And Director Of Photography Rick Bota
Audio Commentary With Director Jamie Blanks And Filmmaker Don Coscarelli, Moderated By Author Peter Bracke
Thrill Of The Drill – An Interview With Actress Denise Richards
The Final Girl – An Interview With Actress Marley Shelton
Shot Through The Heart – An Interview With Actress Jessica Cauffiel
Writing Valentine – An Interview With Co-writers Gretchen J. Berg And Aaron Harberts
Editing Valentine– An Interview With Editor Steve Mirkovich
Scoring Valentine – An Interview With Composer Don Davis
Almost 2 Hours Of Never-Before-Seen Behind-The-Scenes Footage From Director Jamie Blanks’ Personal Archive
Audio Commentary With Director Jamie Blanks
Vintage “Making Of” Featurette Featuring Cast And Crew
Extended Interviews And Behind-The-Scenes Footage From The Electronic Press Kit
Deleted Scenes Including Extended Death Scenes
Hidden Easter Egg