David Boreanaz, Denise Richards
Directed By:
Jamie Blanks

If I were to choose two words for this slasher flick, they'd be: clichˇ and formulaic. Apparently, there was a young geek who was humiliated (reminiscent of Carrie except without the pig's blood) at a junior high Valentine's Day dance. Because of this incident, he becomes mentally screwed up and 13 years later starts killing the five girls (and everyone around them) who humiliated him back at that dance.

When I first started watching this film, I tried to remember names and relationships of the characters. Twenty minutes in, I realized this was futile. None of the character's have any depth. With so many of them walking in and out of the film, you almost need a score card to figure out who is who. The only constant is that if they have more than three lines or two minutes of screen time, they're going to die. And when their time is up, you'll know it ahead of time, because they'll walk off on their own into a dark and secluded part of the set.

In fact, everything in this film is so predictable that it drains anything remotely close to tension out of the film. With most slasher/horror flicks, there's at least a few moments where tension builds as the viewer waits to see how and when the next victim will get it. In this film, it's obvious and apparent when someone's going to die. Even worse, the villain has no on-screen menace. It's like he wishes he was as fear-inducing as Michael Myers or Jason, but just doesn't have the stomach for it.

While the film itself isn't as visually bad as some of the garbage churned out in the 70s and 80s (Friday the 13th parts 3 and later come to mind), it just seems uninspired to do anything except work towards it's obvious resolution. Both the direction and acting are uninspired. In fact, I was disappointed with David Boreanaz, who is great as the broody, yet off-handedly funny vampire in his Angel TV series. Here, he was just a dull, alcoholic boyfriend.

I really didn't feel like getting into plot details, because you'll know what's going to happen before it does and if I told you anything, it would ruin what little surprise there might be here. You'll know who the killer is, if not by the obvious signs, then by process of elimination (everyone else gets killed). With all that said, Valentine is not worth the time or money unless you want to 1) see Boreanaz shot in daylight, or 2) see Denise Richard die. Any other reason just isn't good enough.

- - Vane

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