ValentineFebruary 2, 2001
Four Friends start to receive morbid valentine day cards. Someone out there is stalking them….someone they all spurned when they were younger. And Valentines Day 2001 is the Day she/he gets their revenge.
Release Year: 2001
Rating: 4.4/10 (13,846 voted)
Critic's Score: 18/100
Stars: Denise Richards, David Boreanaz, Marley Shelton
Valentine's Day 1988: At the school dance, geeky Jeremy Melton bravely faces one rejection after the other when asking four popular girls to dance with him. A fifth girl, plump and insecure, agrees, but they end up making out under the bleachers. When a group of school bullies catches them, the girl claims that Jeremy attacked her. This causes them to strip off his clothes and beat him up in front of the entire school. Flash forward to 2001. We meet the five girls who were in that school gym: Kate, Paige, Shelly, Lily and the formerly plump Dorothy. They are all in their 20's now and trying to sort out their love lives, which is appropriate, since Valentine's Day is coming up. After a disastrous date with a loser, one of the girls, a pre-med student, is murdered by a Cherub-mask wearing killer who sent her a death threat in the form of a Valentine card prior to the attack…
Writers: Tom Savage, Donna Powers
Detective Leon Vaughn
Official Site |
Release Date: 2 February 2001
Filming Locations: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $10,024,648
(4 February 2001)
Did You Know?
Shot in 42 days.
When Campbell is in the basement, he drops a book of matches. They fall all over the floor, but in the next shot they change their position and lay in a neat little formation.
Excuse me, who are you?
That's none of your business.
Don't worry, she's nobody.
Yeah, I'm nobody. I'm just the idiot who's still waiting for a return on my Internet investment.
[to Campbell Morris]
What did you call it? Bleed-Me-Dry.com?
Not just a silly slasher film
A group of model-caliber San Francisco women who have been friends
since elementary school are suddenly being threatened and attacked by
someone sending them bizarre Valentine's Day cards. Who is the killer
and why is the killer after them?
My rating will often change on subsequent viewings of a film–sometimes
slightly up, sometimes slightly down. However, I can't remember another
film where my rating has changed as drastically as it has for
Valentine. The first time I watched it, upon its theatrical release, I
thought it was pretty awful–I gave it a 4 out of 10, the equivalent of
an "F" letter grade. Watching it for a second time last night, I can't
remember what the heck I didn't like about it. I can only assume that
maybe I was really in the wrong mood to watch it, or maybe I just
didn't get it. In any event, I loved it this time, giving it a 9 out of
10, or an "A".
It might sound ridiculous saying I didn't get a film like this, but
there is something to get. Valentine is almost a comedy/horror.
Director Jamie Blanks, who was also responsible for 1998's Urban
Legend, takes the stereotypical teen horror formula that became so
popular in the late 1990s in the wake of Scream (1996) and pushes most
of the elements up a notch, making Valentine intentionally cheesy/campy
almost to the point of absurdity (where absurdism is a positive
stylistic term). On top of that, he gives us a film imbued with
humorous commentary on romantic relationships. The humor is unusual in
that it has the same exaggeratedly campy tone as the teen horror
aspects. Most of the situations in the film, and the modus operandi of
the villain, humorous or not, are tied in to the Valentine's Day theme.
Many viewers will likely subtract points from the film for its various
cliché-rooted but implausible scenarios and plot developments. However,
in light of the above, the film is intentionally clichéd, implausible
and ludicrous. It's as if Blanks is attempting (and mostly succeeding)
to transcend the typical teen slasher by mocking/spoofing the
conventions of the genre while also satirizing eros. That's the
attraction to the irony of basing a horror film on Valentine's Day.
It's an incongruity that is cleverly woven throughout the film, and
that is itself at the heart of the slasher genre, making it prime
fodder for Valentine's extravagant lampooning. Scream had a similar aim
with its horror material, but the twist there was that the film was
"self-aware". Valentine's Day is intentionally not self-aware; the
viewer has to rely on contextual clues for satire. Lest some think I'm
"reading too much" into the film, it's worthwhile to note that Blanks
said in interviews that he "didn't want to just do another slasher film
after Urban Legend" and producer Dylan Sellers said he wanted to do
something "more adult".
Other viewers may dislike the fact that Valentine's Day differs so much
from its putative source material, the novel of the same name by Tom
Savage. The novel's characters, setting and plot are very different
from the film. Sellers has said, "While it was a fine book, I didn't
think it was the right story for a film". So instead the novel, which
is much dryer and more serious in tone, was used as a launching pad, a
motif to create variations on for a horror/thriller story centered on
Valentine's Day. While those facts won't help purists familiar with the
book like the film, it's helpful to understand why the film has its
divergent plot and attitude. It's probably better to look at the film
as an independent entity with a similar theme.
Blanks' direction is impeccable visually. Valentine's Day has a lush
look throughout, with complex, deep colors, interesting sets, and good
staging. Blanks is admirable for keeping his villain and attack scenes
not too dark, with clearly conveyed action. He also directs his actors
with aplomb, catalyzing often slyly humorous performances. David
Boreanaz, as Adam Carr, is involved in many of the funniest moments.
While Valentine's Day is no masterpiece, it's a very good
horror/thriller film that seems strongly prone to misconceptions. If
you watch it expecting something more tongue-in-cheek you may find
yourself appreciating it a lot more.