Discs Are Rated
Click above to purchase "Valentine" at amazon.com
review by Ren C.
Running Time: 96 minutes
Starring David Boreanaz, Denise Richards
Written by Tom Savage, Donna Powers, Wayne Powers,
Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts
Directed by Jamie Blanks
Retail Price: $19.98
Features: Audio Commentary, Featurette, Cast and Crew
Filmographies, Theatrical Trailer
Specs: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby
Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, English Subtitles,
French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Portuguese Subtitles,
If you have ever in your life seen a horror movie, then
you've seen "Valentine." This movie breaks no new ground,
has nothing more than a tenuous plot, and is nothing more
than a schlock slasherfest. However, this is not necessarily
a bad thing.
The horror movie is one of those genres that seem almost
like the mythical phoenix. It is on a perpetual cycle where
every few years the genre will come back, get extremely
popular, and then die another death culminating with cheap,
derivative movies like this one. Just as the horror boom
that began with movies like "Halloween" ended with movies
like, well, "Halloween 6", so too this cycle which began
with "Scream" ends with movies like "Valentine".
The plot of "Valentine", sketchy as it is, begins
thirteen years in the past with a junior high dance, where a
boy named Jeremy is taunted mercilessly by his classmates,
including having punch dumped on him in a scene that is
ridiculously reminiscent of "Carrie". We then jump to the
present where, wonder of wonders, the girls that teased him
start getting mysteriously killed off.
That is, in essence, the entire plot of the movie, with
the rest of the movie devoted to the typical slasher
clichés, including "the girl running up the stairs",
lights going out, and everything else that we have become
accustomed to in movies of this type. The movie wants to be
ironic and clever, but instead only reaches levels of guilty
pleasure. The actors seem to realize that they are in a
grade-B horror movie, and mail in their performances. Denise
Richards is especially guilty of this doing her "sexy bitch"
routine that she can seemingly do at breakfast in the
morning without batting an eyelash.
While it is unfortunate to see actors like Richards and
David Boreanaz wasting their talents, the movie is a guilty
pleasure and certainly not an unwatchable one. If the viewer
approaches the movie with no expectations, and shuts off the
brain beforehand, then the movie is actually tolerable.
Horror movies are never intellectual, but "Valentine"
doesn't even try to reach the level of one of director
Blanks' previous works, "Urban Legend", which at least was
clever in its execution. "Valentine" is not clever, merely
As always, I expect more of recent theatrical releases,
and "Valentine" delivers. This is a horror movie, so it is
inherently filled with lots of reds and blacks, and they
come across very well. The anamorphic transfer is deep and
rich, and any artifacts did not distract me. Only a few
small dots were seen on the transfer, which is certainly
The audio mix was also impressive as any horror movie is
going to have a lot of ambient sounds, and these were nicely
distributed. Dialogue was also staggered to surround the
viewer. Horror movies are also known for their usually
intense music, and this was no exception, with the music
being very powerful and very present. Also included is a
French Dolby Digital 5.1 track, along with subtitles in your
choice of English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
This isn't exactly a movie that leaves the viewer wanting
more, so a special edition more likely than not would have
been overkill. However, there are a few nice features
provided here, the first of which is the audio commentary
with director Jamie Blanks. Blanks, much to his credit,
realizes that he has not made a cinematic masterpiece and
proves that he knows what is going on in the opening minutes
of the commentary. He agrees with my assessment that the
opening scene has a lot of likeness to "Carrie" but says
that the whole scene wouldn't have worked without it. He
makes several more observations of this that almost give a
subtle nod to the fact that he has the capability to make
more than a movie like this.
A short behind-the-scenes featurette is next, with the
standard cast and crew interviews and behind the scenes
footage. Really nothing of interest here, but it is good for
at least one viewing. Also included are the ever-present,
ever-bland cast filmographies that list other movies that
they have done, which, if you for some reason enjoyed this
movie, you could check out.
Wrapping up the special features are the theatrical
trailer and the "should have been the theatrical trailer".
The trailer itself is absolutely horrible, leaving the
viewer with nothing other than the fact that "Valentine" is
a horror movie and that it is coming to theaters. The
"should have been trailer" is the "club reel" set to Orgy's
song "Opticon" from the soundtrack. This reel, checking in
at just under three minutes, made me interested in the movie
much more than the actual trailer did, by showing scenes
from the movie and giving just enough away. Note that the
band itself does not appear in the video as the reel was put
together by Warner Brothers for some undisclosed reason.
I'm a little torn by this, as on one level I absolutely
could not stand the movie, and realized that this was an
hour and a half of my life that I would never get back. On
the other hand, the part of me that loves horrible horror
movies definitely found some material here. However, it
takes itself a little too seriously to reach the level of
camp. Overall, recommendation to avoid, unless you live to
see anything within the horror genre.
(2/5 - NOT included in
NOT an average)