Volume 94, Issue 75
Tuesday, February 6, 2001
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Valentine better than chocolates
Photo by Diyah Pera
SHE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT WAS SCARIER - THE SPIDER IN THE CORNER OR HER BOYFRIEND'S BONER. Marley Shelton and David Boreanaz get a little bit closer in Valentine.
Starring: Marley Shelton, Denise Richards, David Boreanaz
Directed By: Jamie Blanks
By Craig Robertson
As Valentine's Day draws near, those lovingly affectionate date movies will be hitting theatres. But to find a horror film among these recent releases is surprising.
Valentine is a rather entertaining slasher flick that follows in the tradition of Halloween and Scream. In the same vein as the onslaught of slasher films that have plagued audiences over the last couple years, Valentine is another member of the "crazy killer" family.
The film centres on five friends who, surprisingly, are not teenagers or college students, but professional young women. Paige, Kate, Lily, Dorothy and Shelley, have all been close since childhood. In sixth grade, all five rejected a homely boy at a school dance, who became very angry with them.
In the time that elapses, someone has been waiting for revenge and chooses Valentine's Day for the killing spree. A broken heart shall be mended.
Shelley is the first victim who dies in an opening sequence that works better in the Scream films. Dressed in black and wearing a cupid mask, the killer is eerie, but not as menacing, as Michael Myers or Freddy Kruger.
After Shelley's murder, the other four women come closer together, but still don't realize what's about to happen. Each woman receives an unaffectionate Valentine's card and before they know it, desperately try to stay alive.
Paige (Denise Richards) and Kate (Marley Shelton) are the main characters. Paige sees herself as being too sexy for her own good, so the audience can easily predict what will happen to her.
Kate tries to maintain her relationship with Adam (David Boreanaz) while fighting for her life at the same time. Adam is a recovering alcoholic who slips in-and-out of scenes easily enough to be presumed a killer. Like Scream and Urban Legends, the fingers point to the most obvious of suspects, but the desire to know who the real killer is remains.
On an aesthetic level, the film looks better than some of the recent horror efforts. The cinematography, lighting and editing are sharp enough to classify the film as stylish, and even the soundtrack creates the occasional shiver.
The actors do a surprising job with the material they have, and don't animate themselves like cardboard. The only problem is David Boreanaz, whose acting is not the best and it's hard to forget him as TV's Angel.
Overall, Valentine will not be considered a classic in any way. Unlike Scream and last year's Final Destination, the film doesn't have any originality to make it a standout.
However, the movie seems more authentic than recent efforts like I Know What You Did Last Summer and Halloween H20. It would definitely be better if people would just follow the rules as outlined in Scream. Do not open the door! Do not run upstairs! And most of all, do not run into a room that has no exit!
People just don't learn.
Copyright © The Gazette 2000